The Classic Caesar Salad Preparation Might Surprise You

Whether it's served while you're dining al fresco on a summer evening or paired with a hearty soup during the perfect winter lunch, the Caesar salad is a versatile and delicious dish with a long history. Crispy romaine hearts, freshly grated parmesan cheese, a creamy and tangy salad dressing, lots of crunchy croutons, grilled chicken breast, and a touch of salty anchovies are all tossed together into the perfect lunch or pre-dinner course. Preparing a Caesar salad — that all-American dish that was actually invented in Tijuana, Mexico by Caesar Cardini (via BBC) — comes as second nature to many of us.

But what if nearly everything we've been putting in our Caesar salads was not a part of the original recipe? The classic dish has evolved as it spread from its origins in 1924, and the original recipe and preparation are not how we typically make it today. The true, classic Caesar salad is revealed below.

Here's the original Caesar salad recipe

When we think of a Caesar salad, we imagine a bowl overflowing with chopped lettuce, meat or fish, lots of croutons, and an anchovy-based dressing. According to Foodsided, the original Caesar salad as prepared at Caesar's Restaurante-Bar in Tijuana, Mexico was completely different from the recipe most chefs use now.

Anchovies were not used. Instead, the salty kick was incorporated by using Worcester sauce in the dressing. None of the extra ingredients that are now added to the Caesar salad were used. No chicken, shrimp, or extra vegetables had a place in the dish. The lettuce wasn't even chopped! Instead, whole romaine hearts were laid on a plate. A single large crouton, the original dressing made with raw egg, and parmesan cheese were added to complete the salad.

The original Caesar salad was even simpler and easier to prepare than the recipes we use today, which makes sense because it was supposedly invented with whatever ingredients that could be found to feed a busy restaurant on the Fourth of July (via HuffPost). So the next time you're hankering for a quick and simple dish, consider the traditional Caesar salad!