Classic Caesar Salad

Time 20 minutes
Yields Serves 1 to 2
Caesar salad
(Genevieve Ko / Los Angeles Times)

Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Meanwhile, using the flat side of a chef’s knife, gently smash the garlic clove. Slip off its papery peel, then gently rub the cracked open sides all over the inside of a large salad bowl.


Combine the smashed garlic and the oil in a small skillet. Set over medium heat. When the garlic starts to sizzle and turn golden, discard the garlic, then pour all but 1 tablespoon oil from the pan into the salad bowl. Return the skillet to the stove and turn the heat to medium-high. Add the bread cubes in a single layer and cook, turning to evenly toast, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer the croutons to a paper towel to drain and sprinkle with salt and pepper.


Add the anchovies, if using, to the oil in the salad bowl and smash with a whisk or two forks, then whisk in the lemon juice, Worcestershire and Parmesan.


Lower the egg into the boiling water with a spoon, then boil for 1 minute. Drain the egg and run under cold water to cool it down enough for you to hold it.


Crack the egg into the bowl, swiping out any egg white stuck to the shell and adding it. Whisk the dressing well. Add the Romaine and toss to evenly coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the croutons and toss once more, then top with Parmesan shavings. Serve immediately.

Mayonnaise Caesar Salad: Omit the egg. Whisk 2 tablespoons mayonnaise into the dressing along with the lemon juice.

Pasteurized Egg Caesar Salad: Use a pasteurized egg in shell and proceed as above or substitute 2 tablespoons pasteurized egg product. Add it directly to the salad bowl from the refrigerator after mashing in the anchovies.
The egg remains, essentially, raw, which the USDA says isn’t safe because of the risk of salmonella. If you’re not comfortable using an undercooked egg in the dressing, you can try the pasteurized eggs or mayonnaise variations, which are also delicious.