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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.