Grilled Caesar Salad and Dressing
This is not your typical Caesar salad. In my opinion, it’s better. The greens are grilled (along with the bread used for the croutons), which gives it a smokey (but not too smokey) flavor, and there is no egg in the dressing.
I love Caesar salad but in the past I haven’t made it at home very often. I hate ordering it at most restaurants because I’ve been burned too many times. I’m not picky, but many restaurants fail in the dressing-the-Caesar department. Most Caesar salads I’ve ordered out, with the rare exception, usually end up swimming in the dressing and it’s not often you can order the dressing on the side.
This recipe for grilled Caesar salad is really nice because first, it’s easy to put together. Second, it calls for anchovy paste (anchovies are included in traditional Caesar salad dressing) which adds a great flavor and the paste format is convenient to use. Third, the dressing doesn’t have egg in it — something else I’m not really fond of about Caesar dressing. I know the addition of lemon juice is what makes the raw egg safe to eat, but it still creeps me out.
This is a really nice summer salad. Almost everything about putting it together is convenient, from grilling the bread to use for the croutons to grilling an entire head of Romaine to the anchovy paste used in the dressing. It’s light, slightly smokey and best of all, YOU’RE in control of the dressing.
Recipe for Grilled Caesar Salad and Dressing
Serves 2-4 people
- 2 hearts of Romaine lettuce
- 2 large slices of Italian bread, brushed lightly with olive oil on both sides
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- Juice from one large lemon
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 1-1/4 teaspoon anchovy paste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra to shave as garnish
- For the dressing, combine all the ingredients into a food processor and mix. Taste the dressing and adjust the seasoning to your taste. When finished, refrigerate until ready to use.
- Lightly spray or brush your grill grate with nonstick cooking spray or vegetable oil. Heat the grill to medium. Place the whole Romaine heart over the heat. Grill on both sides for about 2 minutes, taking care they don't burn. You want them lightly charred. When the lettuce is almost finished, add the slices of Italian bread to the grill, away from the flame. Allow the bread to get toasty with just slight grill markings.
- Arrange the Romaine hearts on individual plates. Cut several slices into the hearts, vertically. You want to do this so the dressing runs into the inside of the Romaine hearts. Cut the bread into small, bite-sized pieces and toss on top of the Romaine.
- Drizzle the Romaine and croutons with the dressing and shave Parmesan cheese over top.