We ran into this absolutely gorgeous “baby” lettuce at the market. Its young, green, crispy, curly leaves were perfect for our Aviator Caesar Salad. Of course you can’t just pour any Caesar dressing on a bed of lettuce and call it Caesar salad.
The key to Caesar Salad truly is the dressing.
Savory, salty, sour, bitter, sweet and spicy–it never stops surprising us with its rich blend of raw egg yolks, anchovies, garlic, lemon, whole grain mustard, Worcestershire sauce and olive oil. Who came up with that combination? We found out it wasn’t that old of a recipe and has quite an interesting story.
The original Caesar salad is accredit to restaurateur Cardini Caesar whose daughter claims created this salad on a busy 4th of July evening after they ran out of stock. Cardini is an Italian-born immigrant who lived in California and opened a restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico, in the 1920s. According to the story, he put the salad together in front of customers with all that was left in the kitchen. People loved it so much they started coming back to the restaurant just to get the salad.
Some say the original name for this salad was aviator’s salad and was created by Cardini’s brother, Alex. Alex called it aviator’s salad in honor of his father whom served in the Italian Air Force during WW1. By personal preference Alex added anchovies. Over time, the name of the dish became Caesar salad.
There are many variations and styles for Caesar salad. We prefer to make ours with shaved, not grated, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Castelvetrano and Kalamata olives, and tomatoes. We do not add croutons to our Caesar salad. While this salad is satisfying on its own, we often serve it with grilled salmon or shrimp with our chocolate black mustard seed glaze.
Try this Aviator Caesar Salad recipe and let us know what you think!
- 1 head of romaine
- 10-14 large shrimp [20/25 count]
- 1 large tomato, or a handful of grape tomatoes
- 1/3 cup Castelvetrano and Kalamata olives
- 1/4 cup shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon raw cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon raw honey [or organic cane sugar], optional
- 1 teaspoon roasted paprika
- Sea salt to taste
- Fresh ground pepper, course
- 1-2 egg yolk, organic, farm-fresh!
- 1/2 lemon
- 2-4 anchovy fillets
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon raw honey [or organic cane sugar]
- 1 tablespoon Dijon or whole grain mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Fresh ground pepper, course
- Thoroughly wash and dry Romaine leaves. Tear or cut the leaves into bite size pieces. Cut tomatoes and add to Romaine. Add olives and cheese.
- Heat up a sauce pan with a tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil. Add spices (black [or yellow] mustard seeds, turmeric, roasted paprika, crushed black pepper, teaspoon raw honey or organic cane sugar, teaspoon cacao powder). Roast spices in oil for 30-60 seconds. Be careful as the mustard seeds may begin to pop.
- Add shrimp and cook each side 30-60 seconds. Do not overcook the shrimp. Remove from heat and set it aside.
- Dressing – You can use a mini food processor or do this easily by hand.
- Add garlic clove into the food processor, or grate the garlic with a fine grater. Put it into a mixing bowl.
- Separate the yolk from the egg white. Put yolk into the small mixing bowl. Add mustard, honey and mix together.
- You can use a knife to finely dice the anchovy or use a fork to mash it. Add anchovy "paste" into the mixing bowl.
- Add lemon juice and slowly drizzle olive oil while mixing ingredients together. Add pepper to taste.
- Toss salad with dressing. Arrange the shrimp on top and finish with more shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano and black pepper.