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Will the REAL Safe Caesar Salad Recipe Please Stand Up?

Recently, I went on a search for safe Caesar salad recipes. It was a hot day, and something about a cool, simple dinner prepared with all-fresh ingredients hit the spot.  Romaine lettuce from the garden and… OK, what next?

Google offered me an array of matches for “safe Caesar salad dressing,�? but either they weren’t safe, or they weren’t good. Here’s what I mean:

Safe Caesar Salad Recipe

The traditional recipe calls for ordinary raw eggs. Let’s just call them the Salmonella squad, because raw or undercooked eggs cause nearly 4 out of 5 Salmonella foodborne illnesses cases.

Some recipes bearing the name “safe�? use raw eggs anyway. Others coddle the eggs first, but coddling is not the same as cooking to 160°F (the temperature required for food safety). Some people claim lemon juice in the Caesar salad dressing recipe will wipe out the Salmonella in raw eggs. Are we going to culture this dressing first to make sure? I’m more for a lean, clean kitchen routine.

Good Caesar Salad Recipe

I found a variety of workarounds to the Salmonella risk in fresh eggs—liquid egg products, mayonnaise, or yogurt instead of eggs.  Some recipes just omit the eggs and work with olive oil and vinegar. What kind of Caesar salad is that? Bottom line: None of these recipes inspired me.

Safest Choice eggs SAFE Caesar salad

So, what’s the solution? I tracked down the Safe Caesar Salad recipe from SafeEggs. They also have a Safe Mexicali Chicken Caesar Salad recipe I want to try next. Both use pasteurized eggs (not liquids), which means they’re safe from Salmonella, and they have that fresh flavor that makes Caesar salad fun. Safe plus good. Happy now.

Caesar Salad Recipe Add-ins

By the way, I’ve now tried add-ins like minced anchovies, stone-ground mustard, and capers. All were good, even all together. Homemade, whole-grain croutons with a little garlic, if you have the time, add depth to the flavor. Grilled chicken rounds it out with more protein—or for a vegetarian Caesar salad, white cannellini beans are great.

Wikipedia details stories about the origin of Caesar salad. One is that Caesar Cardini invented the idea tableside when his restaurant ran out of supplies following a holiday rush. Others claim the fame. Who knows? But everyone who loves to cook can appreciate the pride in culinary invention.

What’s your favorite safe Caesar Salad recipe?