Eric Ripert's Cheesy, Rule-Breaking Take On Caesar Salad

The classic Caesar salad invented by Italian chef Caesar Cardini is based on Italian methods and ingredients. Still, while it wasn't invented in Italy, but rather in Tijuana, Mexico, Cardini found parmesan cheese a must when creating his original salad during the Prohibition era. During a time when rules seemed to be made to be broken, Cardini chose to hang his hat in Mexico where alcohol laws weren't as stringent.

Renowned chef Eric Ripert has followed Cardini's suit while riffing on the original Ceasar salad methods. You might say Ripert broke a few rules of his own, but the outcome is one for the books all the same. He told Longview News Journal that he and his friend chef Laurent Manrique came up with the salad's cheesier rendition when they craved a Caesar salad and then some. "I think we were drinking a lot of wine," he told the publication. 

Ripert's version amps the cheese-to-Romaine ratio which explains why he told the outlet, "The idea is to elevate the qualities of every ingredient, to enhance them, to make them the best I can." The actual dressing recipe is pretty straightforward. Egg yolks, garlic, mustard, lemon juice, and olive oil are processed to resemble the classic version sans the traditional incorporation of anchovies. The Parmesan comes a little later in Ripert's method.

Ripert's version of Caesar salad takes the heat

Place romaine hearts that have been cut in half lengthwise on a baking sheet in a single layer cut-side up before brushing them liberally with the dressing. Then, pile on grated Parmesan cheese before broiling them on the highest oven rack. You're going to want to keep an eye on them, as broiler's temperatures can vary. The idea is to pull them out of the oven when the cheese has bubbled up with a nice golden crust. 

It's recommended to serve this salad fresh and hot out of the oven, but it can be refrigerated undressed for up to five days. The dressing is good to go refrigerated for up to three days. It's doubtful that you'll have leftovers, however, on that rare occasion that you do, use them to elevate and enhance another salad that you've prepped.  

Coming in at under 300 calories and a whopping 13 grams of protein per serving, Ripert's heartier, cheesier Caeser salad recipe may break a few rules of tradition, but it sure won't break your recommended daily caloric intake while offering an extra boost of protein.