Print
The Best Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons

This delicious fresh take on a Caesar salad involves a touch of smokiness from charred lemon and a bit of smoked paprika, along with all the other traditional goodness like parmesan cheese, garlic, and anchovies.

Course Salad
Keyword caesar salad
Servings 6 people
Calories 332 kcal

Ingredients

Caesar Dressing

  • 1 lemon cut in half
  • 6 cloves garlic coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 3 tablespoons good mayonnaise
  • 1-2 teaspoons minced anchovy filets (I like it more anchovy-y, if you prefer less anchovy flavor just do 1 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Homemade Croutons

  • 1/2 teaspoon flake kosher sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4 1/2 cups french bread torn into roughly 1 to 2-inch pieces and left out overnight to get stale
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Caesar Salad

  • 1 lemon quartered
  • 1 head romaine lettuce torn or cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/3 cup freshly shaved parmesan cheese
  • Caesar dressing see above
  • Homemade croutons see above
  • 1 cup chopped cooked chicken or roasted chickpeas (see below recipe) optional
  • Flake sea salt garnish
  • Freshly cracked black pepper garnish
  • Smoked paprika garnish

Instructions

Homemade Croutons

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix together the salt, paprika, and pepper in a small bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, toss together the bread and olive oil until coated. Then toss the salt mixture with the bread until evenly distributed. Spread them out over 2 baking sheets and bake in the oven until deeply golden, about 25 min.

Caesar Dressing

  1. Heat a seasoned cast iron pan over medium high heat. Sear the halved lemon, cut side facing down, until a warm brown around the edges, but *not* black, about 5 minutes. Repeat this with the quartered lemon under the 'Caesar Salad' ingredient list. Set the seared quartered lemon aside for serving.

  2. Squeeze the juice from one of the halved charred lemons into a blender or food processor (1/2 of a lemon makes about 2 tablespoons of juice). Add the garlic, parmesan, mayonnaise, anchovy, black pepper, smoked paprika, and Worcestershire sauce and blend at low speed.

  3. If using a blender, remove the small circle in the center of the cap. While the blender pr food processor is running at low speed, add the olive oil in a thin continuous drizzle.

  4. Once all the olive oil is added, increase the speed to medium and blend until smooth. Turn the blender off, taste, and add more lemon from the other charred lemon half if desired.

Caesar Salad

  1. Toss the lettuce with the parmesan, Caesar dressing, and croutons. If you want some protein, feel free to mix in 1 cup of chopped cooked chicken or roasted chickpeas. Serve with lemon wedges for extra juicing. Garnish with a pinch of flake sea salt, cracked black pepper, and smoked paprika to taste.

Nutrition Facts
Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons
Amount Per Serving
Calories 332 Calories from Fat 207
% Daily Value*
Fat 23g35%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 15mg5%
Sodium 586mg25%
Potassium 367mg10%
Carbohydrates 22g7%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 9290IU186%
Vitamin C 24.2mg29%
Calcium 214mg21%
Iron 2.3mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.