This Healthy Caesar Salad is best enjoyed with real food ingredients and gluten free crackers for an extra crunch. Perfectly blended with salmon, chicken, or shrimp, it can be made into an easy meal!
When I used to work full time outside the home, I would regularly buy Caesar Salad for lunch at a local French Café. I don't know if it was the crisp romaine lettuce or the creamy dressing or their housemade French baguettes that was magically turned into croutons...I was sold on that Caesar Salad.
I scoured grocery stores trying to find that salad dressing with just the right proportions of garlic and parmesan to pour over my romaine. But what was most disappointing in all those bottles was the long ingredient list of non-edibles.
And then I realized I could just as easily make my own. Thankful for the world wide web and google - I drooled over images of the many caesar salad dressings and got to work. My excitement didn't last long, however.
Bland. Stale. Too runny. Too thick. Not-garlicky enough. Not-parmessany enough. They all failed.
Until I came up with this recipe. It's heavy on the garlic (but you could easily go light there if you wish) and parmesan cheese. Lots of parmesan cheese. Don't forget to use homemade mayonnaise or a good brand such as this one.
Related: How to Make Mayonnaise
Healthy Caesar Salad
To make this a complete meal just add your favorite protein to this salad. We love seared salmon but have used leftover roast chicken in the past and it was just as delicious. Grilled shrimp is amazing too.
Finally, top with gluten free crackers instead of the sourdough croutons to add extra crunch. Our favorite gluten free crackers are this brand since they don't have any fillers.
A note on the worcestershire sauce: this is probably the best organic brand on the market but I do have a recipe that is soy-free and refined sugar free. I'll have that recipe up soon. If you know of a brand that is paleo compliant, please let me know in the comments. I try to avoid soy consumption as much as possible, that's why I resorted to making my own worcestershire sauce years ago.
The dressing can be made in advance up to 4 days and stored in the refrigerator. If for some reason you need a longer shelf life simply omit the garlic until you are ready to serve. It will keep longer that way.
Healthy Caesar Salad
- 5 garlic cloves
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard (optional)
- 1 ½ teaspoons anchovy paste OR fish sauce
- 2 t Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup real mayonnaise
- ¾ cup Parmiggiano-Reggiano, finely grated
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 fresh romaine heart
- 12 oz seared salmon, grilled shrimp, or leftover roast chicken
- ¼ cup Parmiggiano-Reggiano, shaved
To make Caesar Dressing
- Whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, mustard, anchovy paste, and Worcestershire sauce until evenly combined.
- Add the mayonnaise, parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk until well combined.
- Let stand at room temperature for about an hour to incorporate all the flavors.
- The dressing is a little on the thick side, add mild oil such as avocado oil to thin it out if necessary.
To make Caesar Salad
- Rinse and dry romaine lettuce. Chop coarsely and throw in a large bowl.
- Add ½ - 1 cup of dressing and combine everything well with tongs. Add your choice of protein (if using) and gently give a quick toss again.
- Top with shaved parmesan cheese and gluten free crackers (if using).
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