The legendary Caesar salad is a dish of mere happenstance. Caesar Cardini's kitchen was barely stocked when a group of guests arrived unexpectedly at his restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico. He had eggs. He had Parmesan, lemon, and lettuce. And he had condiments. So to elaborate, Cardini added drama. He prepared the salad before them so that each guest could inhale the aroma of freshly crushed garlic, hear the crack of the eggs, and watch as fine flecks of Parmesan flew from the grater. It was a grand preparation for a simple salad.
That was back in the 1920s. Today, this full-flavored salad rightfully remains a hit. Like the original, it takes little more than a half-dozen pantry basics to assemble. And while many recipes call for whirring together the dressing in a food processor or a blender, I've found that these modern-day conveniences can't replicate the perfectly creamy consistency you get when it's made by hand.