Anthony Bourdain’s Caesar salad

Today is #BourdainDay and we're running his recipes all week

Caesar salad. Photograph: iStock

Caesar salad is of Mexican origin. You probably didn’t know that, crediting it instead to the Italians. Nope. Another reason to love Mexico – unless you insist on putting sad, overcooked, characterless strips of grilled chicken cutlet on top of it and mashing it down into landfill.

God does not want you to put chicken in your Caesar. #BourdainDay


Serves 4-8

2½ cups extra-virgin olive oil
10 oil-packed anchovies, drained
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
6 slices white sandwich bread, cut into ¾-inch dice
1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 large or 2 small heads of romaine lettuce, dark outermost leaves discarded, washed, chilled, and coarsely chopped
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
Dash of Tabasco sauce
3 egg yolks
16 boquerones (white vinegar-cured anchovies packed in oil), drained, for garnish (optional)


In a wide, heavy-bottom sauté pan, heat 1 cup of the oil over a medium-low heat. Add 4 of the anchovies and the smashed garlic and let cook until the anchovies fall apart and dissolve into the oil, aiding this process by gently mashing them with a wooden spoon.

Increase the heat and add the diced bread, cooking for a few minutes and tossing to make sure that the bread is toasted and golden brown on all sides. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove the croutons to the mixing bowl, and gently toss with a quarter cup of the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and salt and pepper. Transfer the croutons to the lined sheet pan to drain.

In a food processor, combine the remaining six anchovies, the chopped garlic, mustard, lemon juice, Worcestershire, Tabasco, and egg yolks and puree. Slowly drizzle in the remaining oil and puree until it has all been incorporated. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

In a salad bowl, toss the lettuce with the dressing, using enough to coat but not drown the leaves. Add the remaining three-quarters cup Parmigiano-Reggiano and toss gently again. Distribute the salad among individual plates, and garnish each plate with one or more boquerones, if using.

Taken from Appetites: A Cookbook by Anthony Bourdain, published by Bloomsbury (£26), with photographs by Bobby Fisher