Here is one super fun fact: The origin story of the Caesar Salad happened not far from the Cordial Organics HQ. It’s true.
For the classic Caesar salad, we have Caesar Cardini to thank. Caesar Cardini (born in 1896) was a French-inspired Italian chef who immigrated to Northern California in the 1910s and then later to San Diego and further South to Tijuana, Mexico.
In San Diego, Cardini opened a French restaurant in a building that remains standing and still houses a restaurant on Sixth Avenue and University Avenue in the neighborhood of Hillcrest. Cardini’s business would shift dramatically when in 1920, congress would enact prohibition across the United States. Cardini kept his restaurant open but decided to open a second restaurant in Tijuana on the popular Avenida Revolución where he could continue to serve alcohol. It seems relevant to note that, throughout prohibition, Tijuana offered itself as a place to enjoy alcoholic beverages. The Los Angeles Times called Tijuana “the city that was Vegas before Vegas was Vegas.” This is to say, Caesar’s restaurant in Tijuana was busy.
According to research done by Food and Wine magazine: “Caesar’s daughter Rose Cardini claimed July 4th, 1924 was the exact day that her father created the Caesar Salad. Overrun by Americans and running short of supplies in the kitchen, her father threw together what was left: Stalks of lettuce, olive oil, raw egg, croutons, parmesan cheese and Worcestershire sauce.”
Origin stories often have controversy and this one is no different. Caesar’s brother Alex is said by some to have been the person to originally offer what is known today as the Caesar Salad. Another story describes an employee who developed the salad which was inspired by his mother’s recipe.
Whatever the truth is, we can all agree that caesar Salad is pretty damn delicious. Even Julia Child agrees and penned in From Julia Child’s Kitchen about how much she loved Caesar Salad, “My parents, of course, ordered the salad. Caesar himself rolled the big cart up to the table, tossed the romaine in a great wooden bowl, and I wish I could say I remembered his every move, but I don’t. The only thing I see again clearly is the eggs. I can see him break two eggs over that romaine and roll them in, the greens going all creamy as the eggs flowed over them. Two eggs in a salad? Two one-minute coddled eggs? And garlic-flavored croutons, and grated Parmesan cheese? It was a sensation of a salad from coast to coast, and there were even rumblings of its success in Europe.”
We adore this riff on the original dressing recipe served up at our local Co-Op. We promise that it’s creamy enough that you won’t even miss the eggs. We have also been known to use this dressing on roasted vegetables.
Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing
2 teaspoons Fresh Lemon Juice
⅓ Cup Olive Oil
1 ½ teaspoons Coconut Amino Acids
1 ½ teaspoons White Miso
1 ½ teaspoons Tahini
2 Minced Garlic Cloves
1 ½ teaspoons Hemp Hearts
1 teaspoon Nutritional Yeast
Salt and Pepper to taste
Whisk ingredients together. Voila!