et tu, anchovy: caesar salad dressing


Part of the routine of living overseas means saying goodbye to dear friends who are moving on to other far-flung destinations.  It’s sad every time someone moves, but the upside is that we inherit all sorts of food and kitchen items that wouldn’t otherwise travel well.  Most of the time, we get things we’d use anyway, like balsamic vinegar or grapeseed oil or imported chocolate.  Other times, it’s more of a head-scratcher, like anchovy paste.

I actually adore anchovies.  One of my favorite food memories of the past few years is discovering the amazingness of fresh anchovies cured in just a little olive oil, lemon juice and salt.  We had them on the Amalfi Coast during spring, and even today I can still practically see those little fish jumping into my mouth.  That’s how fresh they were.


It’s taken me a few months of tinkering around with anchovy paste on occasion (in marinara sauce, with eggs, as flavoring for stew) to finally figure out what the hubby and I like using it for: Caesar salad.  Now, I’m not a fan of Caesar salad normally.  For me, Caesar salads are often overdressed with thick, heavy dressing, like a wet blanket.  Ick.

All that changed last week when I made just a little bit of Caesar dressing with the anchovy paste and added tomatoes and cucumbers to the salad to absorb a little more of the dressing.  It turns out that homemade Caesar dressing is awesome, and the anchovy paste gives it depth of flavor without the fishiness you’d expect.  To top off our salad, I grilled some chicken seasoned with lemon zest, salt and pepper, and we made wraps out of the salad.  By just using around 1/2 cup of dressing, we were able to make two giant wraps.


et tu, anchovy: caesar salad dressing
Prep time
Total time
An easy Caesar salad dressing that beats store-bought any day.
Serves: 4
  • 1 cup light mayo
  • ¼ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • juice from half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 1 large clove of minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons water
  1. Whisk together all ingredients except water.
  2. Gradually add water to make dressing less chunky (add more if needed).
  3. Yields 1½ cups, but only use ¼ to ½ cup for a 2-person serving of salad.



  1. says


    Apologies for the spammy nature of this comment, but your contact form wasn’t working:

    I’m the editor of Expat (, a site devoted to developing comprehensive destination guides aimed at easing expat transitions abroad. At the moment we’re working on perfecting our Malaysia guide and I came across your blog though my research. I was wondering if you’d be interested in completing an email interview about your expat experience abroad? We upload these interviews on “Expat Experiences” pages to give our readers a better idea of what they can expect when moving to their future destination.


  2. says

    Stephanie: sure! And thanks for calling attention to the fact that my contact form isn’t working. It’s fixed now. I’ll e-mail you directly.