Caesar Dressing with No Icky Ingredients
I’m not a big salad eater, but I absolutely love Caesar salad. Let’s be honest here — taste wise, lettuce is not that awesome. It’s fresh and green and it sure it good for us, but it doesn’t rank up there with, oh, I don’t know … bacon?
I mostly eat lettuce because it is the perfect vehicle for homemade croutons, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and THIS dressing. This whole food Caesar salad dressing is full of healthy, traditional fats: pastured egg yolks and my favorite extra virgin olive oil.
The Problem With Cheap Salad Dressing
A word about ingredients … QUALITY. This is one of those instances when the quality of your ingredients really does matter. Please don’t buy the cheapest, generic brand Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, and eggs to make this dressing. It will affect the outcome in a negative way, and again for the sake of honesty, is there anything worse than cheap salad dressing??
This ingredient list from Hidden Valley’s Caesar dressing speaks for itself:
Water, Vegetable Oil (Soybean Oil and/or Canola Oil), Maltodextrin, Sugar, Nonfat Milk, Egg Yolk, less than 2% of Salt, Romano Cheese (Cultured Pasteurized Part-skim Milk and Enzymes), Tomato Paste, Parmesan Cheese (Pasteurized Milk, Cheese Cultures), Natural Flavors, Milk Protein, Butter, Modified Food Starch, Tamarind, Hydrolyzed Corn/Soy/Wheat Protein, Anchovy Extract, Yeast Extract, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Garlic, Onion, Spices, Garlic Puree, Xanthan Gum, Propylene Glycol Alginate, Monosodium Glutamate, Disodium Phosphate, Disodium Inosinate and Disodium Guanylate, Phosphoric Acid, Lactic Acid, Vinegar, With Sorbic Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate and Calcium Disodium Edta As Preservatives.
40 ingredients in salad dressing?!? Are you kidding me???
High-End, “Natural”, Health Food Store Salad Dressing
Let’s examine a popular brand of organic Caesar dressing: Annie’s Naturals. Made with “canola and/or sunflower” oils, “natural flavors”, and xanthan gum, this dressing is disappointing. After all, isn’t real Caesar made with real olive oil?
How about another brand: Brianna’s Asiago Caesar. I’ve seen this brand of salad dressing at many health food stores, but it is anything but healthy. A base of GMO canola oil contains additives such as “mustard seed and other spices”, caramel color, more “natural flavors” (ie. hidden MSG), and sodium benzoate as a preservative.
Since today’s dressing recipe is RAW, the quality and source of your ingredients matter a lot. Much of the olive oil on the market today is adulterated and cut with cheaper vegetable oils and sold as “100% pure” when it is not. Go here to learn which brands don’t pass the test and which ones make the cut.
For safety reasons, I cannot tell you that using an organic, cage-free egg is a good choice; a regular ol’ grocery store egg is even worse. DO NOT use a regular grocery store egg, please.
When I’m consuming an egg in its raw form, pastured eggs from a trusty source are the only way for me. The taste and texture of a deep yellow pastured egg cannot be beat. Use these babies, and your Caesar dressing is guaranteed to be rich and creamy.
Whole Food Caesar Salad Dressing
Here’s what you need:
- a medium to large glass or wooden mixing bowl
- a whisk
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
- 1-2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 pastured egg yolk
- 2/3 cup quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon raw, liquid whey, optional and for preservation purposes only
Here’s how to do it:
Add minced garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and egg yolk to a mixing bowl and whisk until combined. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking constantly to emulsify. It is very important to taste and add more of anything you think it needs. It’s ok if it tastes a little too salty or strong — remember, it will be flavoring anything else you add to your salad.
If desired, add liquid whey and whisk until just combined. Transfer to a glass bottle or jar. Serve or refrigerate immediately. Dressing without whey will keep in the fridge up to 1 week; dressing with whey will last up to 2 weeks.
You may have noticed that I did not include anchovies, thereby meaning this is not a “true” Caesar dressing. If you like them, feel free to add 3-4 anchovy fillets. We prefer our Caesar (and all foods, for that matter) anchovy-free. 😉
Try my Quick Probiotic Ranch Dressing too!
Have you ever found a whole food Caesar dressing in the store? What are your favorite dressing recipes?
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