This recipe has become a staple in our house – it is the perfect side dish in the summer, complimenting steak, chicken, grilled veggies – you name it! My absolute favorite way to make this is to char the lettuce a bit. If you’ve never had grilled lettuce, you’re missing out! It gets this amazing smoky flavor, which compliments this Caesar dressing so well. If you’ve never made dressing before, don’t be intimidated – it is super easy if you have a blender or a food processor! This dressing will last in the fridge for up to a day, so I’d recommend buying some extra lettuce… you will want this two days in a row, trust me!
3 Romaine Hearts, Whole
Olive Oil Spray (or a tbsp. or two)
Croutons – you pick your favorite
1 large Egg
3 tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 small or 1 large Garlic Clove
1 1/2 tsp Anchovy Paste
1/3 cup Olive Oil
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
1/4 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Pepper (a few cranks or a pinch)
For the lettuce, cut the hearts in half length-wise, and spray the cut side with olive oil spray. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. On a grill or a hot skillet, place the lettuce cut side down and char until it starts to wilt and you get a few charred pieces. This only takes about a minute or two, so make sure to watch it! Once all of the lettuce is grilled, set on a plate or dish and place in the fridge to cool down a bit.
Bring a small pot of water to a boil. What you’re going to do next is coddle the egg – this essentially means just letting it cook for a short amount of time to start cooking the whites within the egg. While the water is coming to a boil, start prepping the other ingredients. Mince the garlic and toss in the food processor (or blender). Then, add in the lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, anchovy paste, salt and pepper. Once the water is boiling, carefully add in the egg and boil for 45 seconds – no longer! Remove with a slotted spoon, and once it is cool enough to touch, crack and add into the food processor. Start blending this together until well mixed. With the food processor running, carefully drizzle in the olive oil. Most food processors or blenders have a small opening you can pour into while it is running. This process is called emulsifying, and it is essentially what makes the dressing thick and creamy. You should see it start to come together and look like Caesar consistency.
You can put the dressing in the fridge until you are ready to serve. To put this all together, cut the romaine hearts into small strips (so it looks like a chopped salad). Put in a large bowl. Add in the parmesan cheese, and toss together. Next, drizzle in the dressing – add it in batches and toss in between until all of the lettuce is coated (you should have extra). Add in your croutons and serve – feel free to leave out the croutons if you want this to be gluten free! I’m telling you – this salad is the bomb. If you want to skip the grilling of the lettuce, not a worry – it is still delicious! Enjoy!
Serves 4-6 people