Make Store-Bought Caesar Taste Homemade With Extra Egg Yolks

Classic Caesar dressing has a unique flavor that isn't easily replicated. In the battle between taste and convenience, pre-mixed salad dressings often become quick, decent replacements for homemade dressings. A fresh Caesar dressing is made with Worcestershire sauce, oil, egg, anchovy, lemon juice, parmesan, and garlic, with some including mayonnaise, yogurt, or dijon. Store-bought Caesar dressings might omit the egg yolks for various reasons.

There's nothing wrong with using a store-bought dressing, but if you want to get that homemade texture from a bottled dressing, adding an egg yolk is your best bet. If you have extra egg yolks from making egg white cocktails or a hearty egg white omelet, whipping one into your store-bought Caesar dressing will level up its thickness and creaminess.

Creating a proper emulsion with egg yolk, lemon juice, and oil can be tricky when making a homemade Caesar dressing. But, because store-bought dressings usually contain emulsifiers to make sure they don't separate, you can mix in an extra egg yolk with little risk of your dressing splitting. If you're going to do this, though, make sure you're using pasteurized eggs, which are safe to use without cooking (per the USDA).

Other ways to spice up your Caesar

There are other ways to enhance the flavor of your store-bought dressing. Caesar dressing is famous because it hits several basic tastes and textures all at once. It's savory, tart, creamy, and deliciously umami. So, depending on which of these you want to highlight, you can add some of Caesar dressing's various ingredients from your fridge. Similarly, if you notice your dressing is falling flat, you can add other fresh ingredients to punch the flavor up.

If you want your dressing to be more savory, you can grate some fresh parmesan into it. To add a touch of tartness, you can whisk in freshly squeezed lemon juice. To throw in some spice, you can crack some black pepper into it or add some freshly minced garlic.

A simple dash of Worcestershire sauce brings out its umami flavors. If you have access to anchovy paste, a small dose of that would truly brighten up a store-bought dressing with another burst of umami, especially if the dressing neglected to include anchovy to begin with. To make it creamier, you can add an egg yolk, or some opt to use Greek yogurt or mayonnaise for even more zhuzh.

As important as the dressing is, you can't neglect your other ingredients, of course. Make sure to use high-quality croutons and the right lettuce to avoid ruining your Caesar salad.

Other dressings that benefit from egg yolk

Most store-bought honey mustard or honey dijon dressings contain egg or egg yolks already to help make them creamy and smooth. Adding an extra egg yolk or whole egg to these dressings will make them much more fluffy and smooth, Just make sure you fully incorporate it with a blender or food processor. Some recipes for French dressing call for egg yolk, but store-bought varieties, even the 'creamy' ones, often skip out on egg. Whipping an extra egg yolk into these store-bought dressings will fool your dinner guests into thinking you made them from scratch, and it really can make all the difference.

If you're using a looser store-bought dressing like a vinaigrette, you can give it a velvety texture with cooked egg yolks. While a raw egg yolk would work, the airiness and volume that cooked egg yolks provide can help a thin dressing become nice and creamy with very little effort. This is also an excellent option for anyone concerned with using raw egg yolks, even if they are pasteurized.