Bacon on Salad: Michael Bacon’s Quest for the Perfect Caesar Salad

Michael Bacon as Rex Frasier for Oscar Meyer advertisement Oscar Meyer Advertising Campaign

Jacob Dean

Jacob Dean is a food and travel writer and psychologist based in New York.

Michael Bacon’s Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad with Cheese and Croutons

A Note From The Editor

Michael Bacon stated that he has never written down his recipe, but with some coaxing he allowed us a glance into his process. While the following instructions may not represent Michael’s final stop on the road to Caesar salad Valhalla, they reflect a solid and worthwhile endeavor. Besides, isn’t it ultimately about the journey and not about the destination – even (especially!) when it comes to food?


The key to the perfect Caesar Salad is balance. You have lots of intense flavors and if any one dominates you’re finished. So experimentation is the key.

Take a large wooden salad bowl and rub fresh garlic everywhere. Put more olive oil than you’d expect — maybe even 1/2 cup.* Squeeze half a lemon in. Mash up 2-3 canned anchovies with a fork. If you like anchovies you must resist the urge to put in more than 2 or 3. 1 raw egg, or coddled if you’re more comfortable with that. Very fresh, expensive parmesan cheese, finely-grated — use more than you might think — maybe 3/4 cup to 1 cup. A tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, little bit of Worcestershire sauce. About a heaping tablespoon of domestic brown mustard — French’s or Gulden’s — no Grey Poupon here. Mix up all of this with a fork — it should be a little pasty. Two heads of Romaine lettuice, washed, broken to bite sized pieces, dried and refrigerated. Make croutons from any white bread or baguette and sauté in salt and a little olive oil, and set aside. Add lettuce to the bowl and toss hard. Put the croutons on top.

*Metric conversions: 1/2 cup = 118 ml, 3/4 cup = 177 ml, 1 cup = 236 ml