Caesar salad is a classic. We know what a fabulous Caesar salad tastes like. We’ve seen the pro-chef pull up to our restaurant table with a trolley, smearing a cut garlic clove on the inner surface of a wooden bowl.
But as wonderful as Caesar salads can be, they all too often disappoint. Dressing that is too thick, applied with a heavy hand, weighing down and overpowering the lettuce — not pleasant.
This Caesar dressing is adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook. In their quest for a perfect tasting dressing, light and healthy, they hit the spot. My adaptation substitutes regular mayonnaise for the low-cal ATK recommends. I’ll get back to you just as soon as I can stop licking the spoon, bowl and my fingers.
On the more Jittery creative side, this Marinated Caesar Salad version incorporates loads of colourful and flavourful veggies and a healthy dose of protein.
- 1/2 c buttermilk
- 1/4 c lemon juice
- 1/4 c mayonnaise
- 4 t Dijon mustard
- 2 t Worcestershire sauce
- 6 anchovy fillets, rinsed (optional for vegetarians, tastes great either way)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 t sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 c olive oil
- 1 c grated Parmesan Reggiano
Use a blender to puree all the ingredients except the oil and the Parmesan. When blended, add the oil and blend to mix it in. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the Parmesan into the dressing.
Marinated Caesar Salad
- 1-2 Romaine lettuce, whole leaves washed and well dried. Use best looking tops as garnish.
- 1/2 each red, yellow and orange bell peppers, cut into thin strips
- 1 cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets, roasted at 420F with a tablespoon of olive oil and sea salt for about 20 minutes
- 1 eggplant, diced bite size, roasted with a tablespoon of olive oil and sea salt, alongside the cauliflower
- 1 14 oz can cannellini or navy beans, drained, rinsed and dried
- 1/2 red onion, sliced in 1″ long strips
- 1/2 c chopped parsley
Combine ingredients except for lettuce in a large bowl. Add Caesar Dressing to coat. Taste to adjust for seasoning and amount of dressing. This marinated mixture can be prepared and refrigerated in advance. Serve on a platter decorated with the tops of the Romaine leaves. Serves 8-10.
For fans of traditional Caesar salad, serve the remainder of the romaine lettuce, torn bite-sized and tossed with Caesar dressing and croutons.
- According to the Food Channel, Caesar dressing is the third most popular salad dressing. Can you guess the first two?
- Thanks to Shelley Alper, for the gift of America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook.
- Bet you are wondering what to do with the remainder of the buttermilk…
- Crisp, Classic Caesar Salad (seattlefoodshed.wordpress.com)
- Recipe: The best salad I’ve ever made (loudfootsteps.wordpress.com)
- Kale Caesar Salad (scarpettadolcetto.wordpress.com)
- Recipe: Shrimp Caesar Wrap (seattletimes.com)