Hail the mighty Caesar
I don’t need any excuse to make a delicious Caesar salad, but if I had to come up with a reason, I think I would have to say that it’s a perfect meal to have in the warmer weather.
I have recently discovered Cardini Caesar dressing and was very interested to learn of the history of this delicious product.
During the prohibition years of the 1920’s Tijuana was the smart place to be. It was the land of fine food and drink, elegant casinos and marimba bands.
Hollywood adventurers like Jean Harlow, Clark Gable and W.C. Fields would motor their gleaming coupes down Route #1 across the border and into Mexico for a night on the town. Eventually, everyone wound up at Caesar Cardini’s famous restaurant – hotel.
It was at Caesar’s Place on 4th July 1924, that Caesar Cardini created the Caesar Salad.
On that particular 4th of July, patrons descended on Caesar’s Place in numbers the restauranteur was simply unprepared for. Cardini, realising he had to improvise, gathered up some of the staples available in all good Italian kitchens and decided to give his dinner guests a show as well as a meal.
Being a showman as well as an entrepreneur, on a service cart in the middle of the dining room, Cardini went to work with cos lettuce, olive oil, lemons, coddled eggs, parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce, fresh croutons, salt and pepper, combining the ingredients with such a flourish, it left his spectators in awe.
The Caesar Salad, and a legend, was born!
Made from all natural ingredients, with no added sugar or preservatives and containing less than 1g of carbohydrates per serving, Cardini’s ‘The Original Caesar Dressing’ delivers the true taste of Caesar Salad without the effort.
Cardini’s is the ideal addition to salads, seafood and meats such as steak and grilled chicken.
According to Naldo Pacchini of Pacchini & Sons, distributors of Cardini’s ‘The Original Caesar Dressing’, “there have been many variations of the original recipe for Caesar salad but this is the original and the best”. In 1938 Cardini left Tijuana and went to Los Angeles where he opened a gourmet food store. The Hollywood folk
who had patronised his Tijuana restaurant, requested Cardini’s famous salad dressing, bringing along empty wine bottles and jars for him to fill.
In 1948, Cardini and his daughter Rosa, decided to label and sell bottles of the original dressing and established
Caesar Cardini Foods, a company which now produces many other gourmet dressings.
Three years before his death in 1956, the master chefs of ‘The International Society of Epicures’ in Paris, proclaimed Caesar’s salad as the “the greatest recipe to originate from the Americas in 50 years”.
Today, Cardini’s ‘The Original Caesar Dressing’ is available all over the world. The bottled version of the dressing not only combines the one-of-a-kind flavour that made the Caesar Salad world famous, but a special history and romance comes with each bottle.
This delicious dressing is rich and creamy and full of flavour – I would have to say it is my favourite Caesar dressing. You can get Cardini’s Caesar dressing in Coles, Woolworths, IGA, independent supermarkets, speciality delicatessens and fruiterers.
RRP $5.30 per 350 mL bottle.
Here are some recipes to get your taste buds going, but don’t stop here, try adding prawns or steak or grains – Cardinis Dressing is the perfect base for so many delicious meals!
Creamy Italian Pasta Salad
2 cups wholemeal penne pasta
1 teaspoon salt
1 large zucchini, sliced into thin coins
½ cup frozen peas
200g tinned artichokes, drained and roughly chopped
¼ cup sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
¼ cup pitted mixed olives, sliced in half
¼ cup Cardini’s The Original Caesar Dressing
Pour 1.5 litres of water into a large saucepan and add the salt. Bring the water to the boil and add the penne pasta. Check the packets instructions for required cooking time. Cook the pasta until al dente. Add the frozen peas into the cooking pasta 3 minutes before it is finished.
- Once the pasta is cooked until al dente, drain the peas and pasta in a colander and place into a large salad bowl. Place the bowl of cooked pasta and peas into the fridge to cool.
- Heat a small pan over a medium heat, add a little olive oil and place in the coins of zucchini. Panfry the zucchini pieces until golden brown. Remove from the pan and cool.
- Remove the cooled pasta from the fridge and add in the fried zucchini pieces, artichokes, sundried tomatoes and olives.
- Drizzle over the Cardini’s The Original Caesar Dressing and toss to combine all of the ingredients. Serve the salad immediately or place back into the fridge until ready to serve.
Original Caesar Salad by Caesar Cardini (The Hard Way)
2 medium heads cos lettuce
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
6-8 tablespoons parmesan cheese
2 coddled eggs
8-10 drops Worcestershire sauce
Juice of two medium lemons
100ml garlic flavoured oil
½ cup of Cardini’s Croutons (Caesar Salad or Toasted)
- Break lettuce (cold, dry and crisp) into 5cm lengths – or use whole inner leaves. Pour 100ml of garlic flavoured oil* over the lettuce.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper over the lettuce. Toss gently two or three times. Break 2 coddled eggs** and add Worcestershire sauce and the lemon juice and toss two to three times.
- Sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the salad. Add the croutons, toss again and arrange on chilled dinner plates.
* Garlic Flavoured Oil
Marinate four large cloves in one and a half cups of good olive oil. Cover and let sit for four to five days then remove all garlic.
** Coddled Eggs
Bring a small pan of water to boil. Take pan off heat and add two eggs. After one minute, remove eggs from water and set aside.
Try Cardini Croutons – Caesar Salad or Toasted flavours.
Original Caesar Salad by Caesar Cardini (The Easy Way)
2 medium heads cos lettuce
Cardini’s The Original Caesar Dressing
Cardini’s Croutons (Caesar Salad or Toasted)
6-8 tablespoons Parmesan Cheese
- Place crisp and dry cos lettuce in a bowl.
- Add Cardini’s The Original Caesar Dressing and toss well several times.
- Add Cardini’s Caesar Salad Croutons and parmesan cheese, toss once more and serve.
Salmon With Warm Roast Vegetable Couscous Salad
2 x 200g portions of salmon, skin removed
1 cup couscous
100g pumpkin, diced
100g sweet potato, diced
1 large zucchini, diced
1 large red onion, diced
4 cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons basil leaves, finely chopped
¼ cup Cardini’s The Original Caesar Dressing
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a tray with baking paper.
- Add the salmon to the tray along with the diced pumpkin, sweet potato, zucchini and red onion to the baking try and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the tray into the oven and roast the salmon and vegetables for 15 minutes.
- Add the cherry tomatoes to the tray and roast for a further 5 minutes until the skin is blistered. Remove the tray from the oven and let the salmon and vegetables cool slightly.
- Pour the dry couscous into a bowl and cover with 1 cup of boiling water. Cover with cling wrap and set aside for 6-7 minutes until all the water has been absorbed. Fluff the couscous with a fork and set aside. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the diced roasted pumpkin, sweet potato, zucchini and red onion to the couscous along with the basil. Toss to combine the vegetables and couscous.
- Serve up the roast vegetable couscous salad onto plates and drizzle with Cardini’s The Original Caesar Dressing. Top with salmon and garnish with roasted cherry tomatoes.