Grilled Caesar Salad

Grilled Caesar Salad

Anita Schecter

  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 4 Servings

The classic ingredients of a Caesar salad are romaine lettuce, crispy croutons, a sharp, garlic-flavored dressing and plenty of Parmesan cheese. Legend has it that a man named Caesar Cardini invented it while working at his restaurant, Caesar's, in 1924. However, there are staff members working there at the time who claim the credit for creating it. In any event, the salad has remained immensely popular for almost a century.

An even bigger salad scandal is the fact that, while we think of Caesar dressing as containing anchovies, Cardini's daughter claims the original dressing did not, and instead got its flavor from anchovy-infused Worcestershire sauce.

What is certain is that the original salad did not contain grilled lettuce, but this modern update adds a touch of smoky flavor that pairs wonderfully with the garlicky dressing.

Whether you believe the true Caesar requires anchovies and a raw egg or not, this recipe bypasses both in favor of more familiar ingredients that most people tend to have around the kitchen. Mayonnaise replaces the creamy emulsification properties of the raw egg and Worcestershire sauce provides the briny taste we associate with Caesar dressing.

There are plenty of ways to customize a Caesar salad. Add bacon for an extra-salty and crunchy treat or, while you're already grilling the romaine, add in some grilled chicken to make a heartier plate, perfect for lunch.

Ingredients

  • For the dressing:
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • For the lettuce:
  • 2 romaine lettuce hearts, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • For the croutons:
  • 3 thick slices crusty bread
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Steps to Make It

  1. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. You can use either an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan for this recipe.

  2. Make the dressing by whisking together the minced garlic, olive oil, mayonnaise, Worcestershire, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and grated Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and ground black pepper.

  3. Brush the romaine hearts with the tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the lettuce, cut side down, on the grill and cook until lightly marked. This should take about 4 to 5 minutes.

  4. Brush the bread slices with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. You can leave the bread whole and grill it for about 5 minutes, then cut it into cubes. Alternatively, you can cut into cubes first and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes

  5. Place the grilled romaine hearts and croutons on plates and serve with the dressing.