Secrets to a glorious Grilled Caesar Salad

#grilledcaesarsalad #summerrecipes #sidedishes


Grilled Caesar salad falls under the "snazzy" category in my book of favorite recipes. A simple technique that lends a taste of summer to the dish. Convenient because you are most likely going to grill something else on the grill too so it's not much effort to create this smoky, delightful salad after you have taken off the other items. I made this recently while I was grilling a head of red cabbage and onions.


Non-Salad Eaters will like this salad because who doesn't like grilled food right? I would serve this for a summer dinner party on the porch, and pair it with a few other grilled protein items to go on top.


The history behind the iconic salad


I have always been fascinated with the history of the Caesar salad. World-foodhistory.com tells the story just like I have heard it over the years.


In 1924, restaurateur Caesar Cardini (1896–1956) invented the Caesar Salad at the restaurant of the Hotel Caesar in Tijuana, Mexico, over the Fourth of July weekend.


Running low on food, Cardini tossed together leftover ingredients from his kitchen—romaine lettuce, garlic, croutons, Parmesan cheese, boiled eggs, olive oil, and Worcestershire sauce – to create a salad for his guests at tableside.


Caesar salad became particularly popular with the Hollywood movie crowd that frequented Tijuana during Prohibition and it was a feature dish at Chasen’s and Romanoff’s in Los Angeles.


Caesar salad went on to be voted the “greatest recipe to originate from the Americas in fifty years” by the International Society of Epicures in Paris.


In the late 1930s, the Caesar salad was popularized in Europe by Walls Simpson, who, as the Duchess of Windsor, ( remember her from the Crown on Netflix?) traveled widely with the Prince of Wales. In 1948, Caesar Cardini trademarked the garlic dressing that gives the salad its distinctive flavor.


Ingredients used in this recipe

Anchovies- The usual tin of anchovies in oil will work great. You can't even taste them by the time you get the rest of the ingredients in. The plant-based recipe would omit.

Garlic cloves- fresh is best, it's the signature ingredient that makes this dressing sing!

Mayo- Low or fat-free works well, if plant-based, sub vegan, or egg-free mayo.

Half and a half- Fat-free, regular or plant-based all work, it used to thin the mayo to a dressing consistency

Parmesan Cheese-shredded adds a bit of weight and umami flavor to the salad. The plant-based option would be to use a vegan Parmesan or omit it and make your own Parmesan out of equal parts of nutritional yeast, chopped fine cashews or sesame seeds and bread crumbs

Lemon juice- Fresh is best here, it gives it that hint of citrus freshness we love with our greens.

Dijon mustard- Smooth works best, but the country-style will work too. It helps keep the dressing from separating

Salt and pepper- according to your taste preference

Worcestershire Sauce- Standard fare suggested, it gives it a bit of sour flavor to enhance the garlic.

Romaine lettuce- I usually buy the grocery store 3 pack, that size is perfect for a portion cut in half if you buy the lettuce by the head, you may want to cut it in quarters

Croutons- It's best if you make your own, in fact, I would make these:

Check out this link for Anchovy Croutons made with sourdough bread.


Equipment Needed for this recipe


Grill- I use wood fired because that's how we roll in the Northwoods, but charcoal will do just fine, you want a hot fire. I use my trusty Webber but gas would work too.

Food processor or blender- You will want to make your caesar dressing in this.

Cutting board and a sharp knife- for cutting the romaine heads in half.

Half sheet pan or cookie sheet- to carry the heads out to the grill on and have a place for them to land after they cook.

Tongs- for the grill, the longer the better

Measuring cups and spoons- for the dressing, accurate measuring makes a delicious product.