Classic Caesar Salad

This Caesar salad recipe has no relation to the sad version you were served at a wedding in the ’90s. A great Caesar has swagger: The romaine lettuce should be cold and crunchy, the dressing creamy and briny, and the croutons craggy and freshly made. A few tips for how to get there:
The dressing: Squeamish about raw egg yolks and anchovies? Sorry! Yolks are what give richness to the emulsion, while umami-rich anchovies are the primary reason Caesar salad dressing tastes so good—that, and a good garlicky kick. (If you just cannot, swap in mayo for a lazy Caesar instead, replacing the anchovy with a splash of Worcestershire sauce.)
The homemade croutons: Tear your bread instead of cutting it (we like a rustic country sourdough, but any sturdy loaf works). The shaggy edges that result from ripping bread into bite-size pieces will hold on to the creamy dressing (and make the salad more dynamic to eat).
The greens: Cold lettuce = crisp lettuce. Separate the leaves of a few romaine hearts, rinse if necessary, dry, and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to toss everything together.
The cheese: Shredded cheese is a no-go. Pick up a hunk of real Parmesan cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano if you can get your hands on some), and shave it into thin planks with a vegetable peeler.
The method: Toss in your largest bowl with your hands. Distributing this thicker dressing evenly requires feeling, so leave the tongs aside, give your hands a good wash, and dive right in. Serve immediately.
Editor’s note: This recipe was originally published in April 2013.
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