Lazy Man's Caesar (for When You Can't Be Lazy)

I’ve been pretty harried this week. I feel like I've been smoking into rooms and sliding through doors, often with only a few moments to spare (or not); a poof of stress trailing in my wake. Picture an entrance that Kramer from Seinfeld might make; I just hope my hair isn't sticking up quite as much, though it's entirely possible. Sleep has felt like a drug, when I’ve been lucky enough to score some.

I’m not complaining. I’ve just been rather busy lately between work, school and writing. Still, I refuse to fall into the wasteland of bad Chinese food and frozen pizza. Eat well or bust.

Perhaps this will eventually be my tragic flaw, but—for the time being—my crutch is this quick homemade dressing. It’s really a lazy man’s Caesar and is ridiculously easy to make, even if you are hustling and bustling all over the place. So please don't judge that I use mayonnaise instead of raw egg yolks. The last thing I need is to be separating eggs and streaming their yolks into my food processor (when I really should be reading about the use of ginger in medieval times or better yet: sleeping).

This Caesar—on the other hand—is no slouch, it's creamy and bright with a hint of lemon and a good kick from the pecorino and Dijon mustard. For a moment, it plants me at a table at Figs on Charles Street, where Todd English makes a mean Caesar salad. I’m eating his salad, glass of red wine in hand—and perhaps some olive oil-dipped focaccia in the other; primed and ready to indulge in a slice of my favorite Figs pizza: a pie sauced with a light tomato base topped with arugula, hot peppers, lemon aioli and fried calamari. My blood pressure drops just typing all of this.

While I’m quite positive Mr. English uses egg yolks in his Caesar (in fact, if this recipe is correct, it confirms it), for now I’ll take a meal that at least reminds me of such an experience: especially if it’s quick to make. True to its word, my dinner came to be in less time than a pizza would take to order. In fact, I accidentally cut myself while chopping romaine and still managed to make a hefty Caesar salad—and eat it—before my thumb stopped bleeding. I’ll bet you haven’t heard that before: a meal that comes together faster than clotting.

Anyways, if you have a can of tuna or some chickpeas in a cupboard or have time to poach an egg (you lucky devil, you) you’ll have dinner in fewer than 10. And the dressing will keep for days, with no worry of salmonella, luring you to use it on veggies instead of leaning on greasy takeout. Because let’s face it: the last thing you need when you are superbly busy is to have to run out and buy a pair of elastic-waisted pants. So it goes: make a lazy Caesar, get to bed when you can, and try to avoid the waist land.

Lazy Man's Caesar Salad Dressing

2-4 tbsp mayo
Juice of 1 lemon and 1/2 peel, zested
5 anchovies
2-4 tbsp pecorino cheese, plus more for dusting
2 tsp dijon mustard
2-4 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine first 5 ingredients in a blender or food processor. Stream in olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Toss with greens, a little more pecorino, and you're done.

Makes ~3/4 cup

-As you can see, this is a taste as you go recipe. Start with about 2 tbsp of the mayo, cheese and olive and taste and adjust until you think it's right for you.

-While certainly not traditional, I mixed some radicchio in with the romaine because I felt like a needed a little purple in my life that particular day.

-I made a bunch of croutons by tossing chunks of bread with olive oil, salt, pepper and some oregano and my 425 degree oven did the rest of the work. Confession time: while they were crunchy and crisp on day one, the crouton leftovers did get a little stale by day two. That said, once covered in caesar, it didn't matter much. (Nothing did.)


  1. Holy Crap. I just made a salmonella joke and an egg poaching joke within the last two posts on my blog.

    You are a funnier, more professional version of me ;) You're winning me over more every minute.

  2. Nice recipe, love it that you used pecorino cheese and anchovies

  3. Ha! I LOVE that I may have a foodie twin out in cyberspace. Your comment made my day. Can't wait to see what we think of next! ;)

    And oh yes, the anchovies are a must. I've been known to throw the whole can in: which I've come to realize is a mistake ... anchovy restraint is a very important thing to learn.


  4. The picture you painted at Figs sounds rather familiar, except I'm at the one on main street in Charlestown and my favorite is the Bianco or the prosciutto and fig with a glass of prosecco. sigh.

    The dressing sounds fantastic.

  5. Figs is right down the street from me and your blog reminds me how it has been WAY too long since I've been there.

  6. A couple reactions:
    1). Can I just say that I love your blog? (oh no, no blogger wants to hear that, right?) Yum.
    2). I'm with Daisy -- prosciutto and fig!
    3). I'm a newbie at using anchovies -- this past year was my first time. Any tips on storing the rest of the can/how long it'll stay good? I'd be tempted to forgo anchovy restraint and put 'em all in simply because otherwise they will sit in my fridge until I get scared of them and throw them out. Shameful, I know.

  7. any recipe that has the word lazy in its title automatically gets my attention, as that's one word i'd use to describe myself in most situations. elaine-esque is another (hey, at least i'm not like george!). :)

  8. Oh my. You guys are hilarious.

    As for the anchovies, I'd put the rest of them in a container in the fridge. They'll keep for a few days; I don't know how I'd feel about them past 3 though. You can saute them with some olive oil and garlic and toss in some pasta, cheese and bread crumbs. They kind of dissolve as they cook in the pan, so most people won't even know they're in there! Sneaky.

  9. I love homemade dressings so much that I can't remember when was the last time I used a store bought one. This one looks perfect :)

  10. Hi, I just found your blog, and I love it. I'm coming back for more. xoxo ♥

    Rocio Rincon


  11. Salad dressing is always a tricky thing for me. It is so hard for me to find one I like, but this recipe is sounding very good. I will try anything! I just need a dressing I like! Thanks for sharing this!