The 4th of July is also National Caesar Salad Day!
The traditional Caesar salad is often made with romaine lettuce, croutons, and a dressing that includes dairy, eggs, oil, and salt.
Not exactly plant-based.
But the good news is that a Caesar salad prepared with plant-based ingredients will taste even better!
We will give you the BEST recipe later, but first, let’s explore the interesting history of the Caesar salad.
How Did the Caesar Salad Get Its Name?
Contrary to popular belief, the Caesar salad is not named after Julius Caesar but rather Caesar Cardini, an Italian immigrant, and restaurateur.
Born in Italy in 1896, he and his brother Alex immigrated to the US after World War I. They lived in San Diego, but their restaurant was located in Tijuana in order to avoid Prohibition laws.
It was on July 4th, 1924, that chef Caesar Cardini first created the Caesar salad for his elite Hollywood guests who were visiting the restaurant. According to his daughter Rosa, Caesar was short on supplies and concocted an original salad with what he had in the kitchen.
As Rosa explains, it was different from “Aviator’s Salad” (a recipe created by Cardini’s brother Alex) in that it used Worcestershire sauce and not anchovies.
It was also eaten as a finger food. Chef Cardini used whole Romaine lettuce and would place the leaves on the plate with the ingredients on each leaf so guests could eat it with their hands.
Fun Facts About Caesar Salad
Here are some fun facts about the Caesar salad.
- A traditional Caesar salad only contains one larger crouton and no grilled chicken or bacon.
- 3 years before Cardini’s death in 1956, the chefs who make up the International Society of Epicures in Paris declared that Caesar’s salad was ‘the greatest recipe to originate from the Americas in 50 years.’
- Legend has it that the Caesar salad was introduced to Europe by Mrs. Wallis Warfield Simpson (the ultimate wife of Prince Edward VIII of Wales). Mrs. Simpson often visited San Diego and Tijuana in the 1920s and was a frequent guest at Caesar’s restaurant.
- As a child, Julia Child visited Caesar Cardini’s restaurant and ate his Caesar salads. Deeply impressed by the experience, she contacted Rosa Cardini 50 years later because she wanted to put the original recipe in her book.
There really is only one way to celebrate National Caesar Salad Day.
And that is to make your very own plant-based version of this legendary salad!
Here is a favorite of ours—Caesar Salad.