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“Caesar Cardini, an Italian-Mexican restaurateur was credited to have invented Caesar Salad. According to his daughter Rosa, on July 4, 1924, when there was a shortage of supplies in the restaurant located in Southern California, his father made do of what he had and created this salad. In some dramatic fashion, he had the servers prepare the salads tableside using large wooden bowls. The salad became popular with Hollywood and celebrities. So much so, that it gave birth to a popular line of Caesar Cardini dressings.

Friends and family tried to dispute the story behind the Caesar salad but its namesake seem to have had the last word.

The usual Caesar Salad is made with romaine lettuce, croutons, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, egg, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Our recipe is an adaptation by a foremost Filipino chef, Gene Gonzales, hence, he named it Ensalada ni Cesar. My contribution is that I added some grilled chicken slices to the salad for some protein.”

Photo by Kitchen Offerings


1 clove garlic, sliced
2 egg yolks
1 cup corn oil
1/4 teaspoon mustard
1/2 teaspoon bagoong Balayan
1/2 head iceberg/romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 cup croutons
3 tablespoons bacon bits
3 tablespoons parmesan cheese, shredded


1. Smudge bowl with fresh garlic, on the inside of a bowl (preferably wooden). Rub it so the flavor is lingering.

2. Add egg yolks and whisk until pale in color.

3. Mix in oil, a tablespoon at a time while continuously whisking until thick.

4. Add in remaining oil, mustard and bagoong (anchovy).

5. Add in lettuce and place onto serving plates. Top with croutons, bacon and cheese.

6. Serve immediately.

7. Enjoy!

Servings: 4

Cook’s Note:

1. When opening a bottle of bagoong Balayan, throw away the watery portion on top.

2. Use the freshest eggs, with no cracks. Pasteurized eggs are highly recommended for this recipe. Important to prevent salmonella bacteria.

Recipe adapted from “The Little Ensalada Book” by Gene Gonzales.

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