In Wednesday’s post I showed how to grill a hen, and I paired it with this salad. Grilled Caesar Salad isn’t new, and it’s sort of a trendy dish (perhaps in a bad way?). But there’s something about it that I enjoy. A quick char on some of the leaves, mixed with the freshly washed lettuce and a spicy (not spicy hot, but spicy flavorful) dressing. It’s just a fun thing to eat.
I’ve never been happy with a homemade Caesar dressing. I’m not sure if I just haven’t had a good recipe or what, but I’ve tried several and they never turn out quite right. Which is sad, because Caesar dressing is something I’d love to be good at. But, there was this one time where I made a crappy Caesar dressing, and decided to just run with it. I added stuff until I made what I call my Caesar vinaigrette, and it’s not too bad (that’s modesty – it’s actually friggen delicious). Here’s how you make the dressing:
• 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
• 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
• 1/2 Tablespoon Champagne Vinegar
• 2 Medium-sized Garlic Cloves, minced (if you don’t have a garlic press, this one is the best I’ve used)
3/4 Cup Mayo
1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan
1/4 Cup Water
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tsp Ground Pepper
2 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 Pinches of Kosher Salt
Whisk the bulleted ingredients together in a bowl and let sit for a minute or two. This dressing is prepared and served cold, meaning it’s never cooked. Garlic is just too intense when served raw – it burns and is not pleasant. By mixing the garlic with the lemon juice and vinegars, the acid semi-cooks the garlic and removes the harshness. Add the rest of the ingredients, whisk together until smooth and taste. Adjust seasonings as needed, put in the fridge.
Caesar salad is always topped with croutons. Well, we’re gluten-free in this household, so we top our salads with homemade granola. If you want to use croutons, go for it. I showed how to make granola in this post, but for this salad I wanted it to be a little herby, and not just sweet. Here’s how this granola went down:
1 Cup Rolled Oats (gluten-free for us)
1 Tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Chopped Pine Nuts
1 1/2 Tsp Dried Basil
1 1/2 Tsp Fresh Oregano, chopped
1/4 Cup Honey
1/2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
Toast your oats, pine nuts and basil in a pan on medium low heat with the olive oil. Toss frequently until it starts smelling and looking toasted (oats will turn slightly brown). Add the honey and balsamic vinegar and toss around to coat evenly. Cook in the pan for about 1 minute, then add the fresh oregano, stir, pour onto some butcher paper or wax paper, and stick in the freezer for 10 minutes or so. Break into pieces.
For the lettuce, get a head of Romain. 1 large head of Romain will serve 4 people. Cut into quarters, and clean them gently, like so:
I fill a baking sheet halfway with cold water, and swish the lettuce around in it gently. This will get any little bugs or dirt that might be hanging out in the leaves, out. Lay your lettuce down on a few layers of paper towel and rotate every couple of minutes to let most of the water drip out.
Once mostly dry, brush each side with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Yes, I know I’ve said not to grill with extra virgin olive oil. But the lettuce is on the grill for only a few seconds each side, so the oil won’t have time to burn. It’ll be ok, I promise. :)
Grill on each of the 3 sides for maybe 30 seconds each. If the leaves are getting too blackened, take it off. If not enough, leave it on longer. Crazy how that works, huh?
Once the lettuce is done, then you’re ready to go. Top with some of the crumbled granola and the dressing. Lay it down so the cut side is up, so the dressing can seep down into the leaves a little. You can also top with some shaved parmesan, though I usually don’t since the dressing has a generous amount in it.
And that’s all she wrote. I’d suggest serving it with grilled poultry, like the hen from Wednesday or just some grilled chicken breast seasoned with salt and pepper and a squirt of grilled lemon. It’s a great summer side dish and, if you haven’t had a grilled salad before, I think you’ll be surprised how much you like it.
Cheers, everyone. Have a great weekend.
We designed the Charly line of sofas, chairs, and ottomans with perfect proportions for comfort — with wide arms, a loungey depth, and stylish and practical lumbar pillows. Available in 70 kid-friendly, pet-friendly fabrics, this line was created with families in mind.
Our wood grain Shaker cabinet fronts were designed for busy, high-traffic homes like ours. Clad with durable textured thermofoils, this line is compatible with Sektion, Akurum, Godmorgon, and Besta cabinets from IKEA. It's the perfect, practical way to add the warmth of wood to all the rooms of your home.
We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop.
Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here.
We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen.
Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.
When you’re gearing up to try something new, whether it be jumping off a cliff into a cool lake, expecting your first child, or buying a new home, you need a cheerleader in your corner. You know, a hype girl saying you got this! It’s going to be great! You can do it! I’m here […]
Another way for us to stay in touch! Joining our weekly newsletter gives you access to exclusive content, never-before-seen photos, your questions answered, and our favorite DIYs. Sign up below!
Make yourself right at home