I’ve made so many salad dressings in my life. Most of the time its a simple vinaigrette because they’re easy to make, affordable and I almost always have the ingredients in my pantry. Sometimes, however, I want something a bit more Gourmet!!! Bring in this Caesar dressing. It’s got things like anchovies, garlic and healthy glugs of EVOO. It’s decadent, rich, and creamy and can elevate even the simplest wedge of Romaine lettuce into something other-wordly! I just want to drizzle it over everything, it’s just that velvety and good.
But the dressing is not even the best part of this recipe. The show-stopper is the charred Romaine lettuce. A few seconds on a hot grill completely transforms the flavour and texture of the leaf. If you’ve never tried grilled lettuce, I’m warning you, it is addictive and you won’t want to go back to cold leaves again!
Before you call the Paleo Police, note that the addition of Parmigiao-Reggiano cheese crosses this off of the list of Paleo-Approved recipes! However, Parmigiano-Reggiano is a hard-ripened cheese that is much more tolerable in terms of lactose consumption. If you are lactose intolerant, simply do not add the cheese. The dressing will still be delicious, if not as rich and creamy. The same goes for those of you who are sticking to a more strict Paleo lifestyle. As always, the choice is entirely yours. Think of these recipes as inspirations rather than rules!
I served this alongside my Argentinian Chimichurri Flank Steak (Recipe here) and it was match made in Food heaven!
Give it a go and let me know what you think in the comments below!
- 2 heads Romaine lettuce preferably organic
- 1 clove garlic smashed and minced
- 4 filets anchovies packed in olive oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper freshly cracked
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated (can sub pecorino or grana padano)
- 1 dash worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin
- On a cutting board or in a mortar and pestle, sprinkle the anchovies and garlic with a pinch of salt and mash them up until a thick paste is formed. Transfer the paste to a mixing bowl.
- To the bowl, add the rest of the salt, lemon juice (seeds discarded), black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard and egg yolks. Gently whisk everything together to combine.
- Roll-up a damp kitchen towel and wrap it around the base of the bowl to ensure the bowl does not move around while whisking. Very, very slowly, vigorously whisk in the olive oil a drop at a time in the beginning. Continue to whisk vigorously, slowly adding in more olive oil in a very slow drizzle. The goal is to completely emulsify the ingredients into a creamy dressing. *If you add the olive oil too quickly, it will not work!
- Once the dressing has reached a creamy consistency, whisk in the grated parmigiano reggiano cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and set the dressing into the fridge for a moment.
- On a hot grill, char the romaine lettuce on the for 15-30 seconds per side. Be careful not to burn the lettuce. You are looking for a bit of a char. We do not want to cook the lettuce.
- Remove the lettuce to a serving platter and drizzle the dressing over top.
- Garnish with some extra freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano and serve the salad while it is still warm.