Keto Caesar Salad Dressing Recipe
I can’t believe Caesar salad dressing is naturally keto. That is probably why it is so delicious and I order it all the time when we go out to eat. Most of the primary ingredients that go into making a Caesar dressing are high fat and are safe to eat on a ketogenic diet. Egg yolk, oil, anchovy, parmesan, lemon juice, garlic, and vinegar are all low in carbohydrates.
The only caveat to enjoying Caesar dressing when eating out is if you are trying to avoid vegetable oils. Many restaurants probably use a neutral oil like grapeseed oil, vegetable oil, or canola oil as these are less expensive than using olive oil or avocado oil. Vegetable oils are not recommended for regular consumption as they are can lead to oxidative stress in the body and long term damage to your cells. If you care about what goes into your body, ask the server if your Caesar dressing is made with olive oil or avocado oil. These are stable oils and are not striped of antioxidants during processing.
This is the main reason we make our own salad dressing at home instead of buying bottled dressing. Unless you are buying a brand like Primal Kitchens, that uses avocado oil for the mayonnaise base, all brands of salad dressing use vegetable oils. On top of that, they just don’t taste as good as fresh, homemade salad dressing.
Once you discover how easy it is to make caesar dressing and how absolutely divine tasting this dressing is, you will never go back to bottled again! I admit that I flipped over fresh Caesar dressing so hard that I resorted to dipping chopped up lettuce into my mason jar of dressing.
It’s true. Caesar salad dressing contains anchovy. It is a key ingredient in the dressing. Anchovies add a salt umami flavor. Umami is a rich, savory component that contributes to that craveability of some foods.
The thought of fish in a salad dressing can be off putting, but these little fish fillets are minced up and mashed into a paste, so will barely notice they are there.
If you are still not a fan of anchovies, you can omit them. Although it won’t be the same, the caesar dressing will still be delicious. Since anchovies do contribute to a salty flavor of the dressing, you will probably need to add a few dashes of salt to replace the anchovy.
The Parmesan Cheese
The parmesan cheese in caesar dressing is best when it is freshly grated. This will provide the richest umami flavor. Parmesan cheese is considered a hard cheese because it has a lower moisture content due to its long aging process. The parmesan in keto caesar dressing adds a salty flavor as well.
Freshly squeezed lemon juice helps to balance out the saltiness from the anchovy and parmesan cheese and the spice from the garlic. This recipe calls for four tablespoons which is just enough to give that zing factor most good salad dressings have.
No caesar dressing would be complete without garlic. Not only is it a standout flavor in the dressing, but the garlic will help keep the emulsion together when forming the mayonnaise base from the egg yolk and oil.
The Egg Yolk
All mayonnaise based salad dressings start with an egg yolk. The fat and water in the yolk serve as the base for the emulsion. An emulsion is a uniform mixture of two substances that do not mix under normal circumstances. The best example in most food science is oil and water. If you agitate them enough and introduce a substance to help stabilize the mixture (the emulsifier), you will get an emulsion. The protein in the egg yolk is the emulsifier that stabilizes the emulsion.
Mixing The Caesar Dressing
I prefer to mix caesar dressing by hand using a whisk and a bowl. This offers the most control because the emulsion can be very delicate when you first introduce the oil to the yolk and garlic. If you add the oil too quickly or agitate the mixture too vigorously, the emulsion can break.
Others have tremendous success using a food processor or immersion blender to make salad dressing. Either mixing technique will work. The most important point to remember is to add the oil in slowly at the start. Once the mixture resembles mayonnaise, you can add the oil in quicker.
Storing Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing
Homemade Caesar Salad dressing can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days. But it will probably disappear before then.