TIJUANA, Baja California — Caesar's Restaurant first opened in the early 1920's and is now located on Avenida Revolución. Since then, Caesar's has had many owners but 12 years ago, Javier Plascencia and his family took the reins and returned Caesar's to its glory days.
"For me, for us, we feel very proud of this recipe. It was made here in Tijuana, it's a Mexican dish. We still have a lot of original menus, photos, the Espresso machine, cash register, it's very authentic."
During prohibition, it quickly became the place to be for those north of the border looking to eat and most importantly drink. The original owner, Caesar Cardini was an Italian who had restaurants north and south of the border, but it was actually Chef Livio Santini that invented the Caesar Salad. Cardini saw the salad and elevated it to the tableside where it was made for the guests fresh each time.
What makes the Caesar Salad so great is the simplicity of the ingredients but the boldness of their flavors.
I had a chance to be at Caesar's Restaurant and make a Caesar salad with veteran Waiter Enrique Montoya with the help of Javier Plascencia. Keep the Romaine leaves whole and eat with your fingers, that's the way it's served in the restaurant.
Caesar Salad - serving for 2
- 1 Heart of Romaine, whole leaf
- 1 tsp Anchovies paste
- ½ tsp Garlic minced
- ½ tsp Dijon mustard
- 3 dashes Worcestershire
- 1 egg yolk from coddled egg
- ½ cup Light Olive oil
- Black Pepper 3 or 4 twists
- Lime juice ½ to whole depending on amount
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese grated
- Croutons, baguette style
Start with the Romaine by washing and chilling.
Next, combine anchovies, garlic, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire, egg, and pepper, at the end add lime juice.
Mix in a wooden bowl to create a creamy base.
Slowly add the olive oil so it emulsifies with the base, add half the parmesan to the dressing
Lightly toss the Romaine, serve on a plate.
Place the croutons in the remaining dressing and toss, serve on top of the salad, finish with parmesan and black pepper.
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