Caesar salad is one of my favorite salads to eat, but lets face it. There is not much going on with the salad ingredients.
This classic salad in a nutshell has a base of romaine lettuce, salad dressing made with anchovies, croutons and Parmesan cheese. Although delicious, if you consume it at its most basic level, you won't be satisfied nutritionally.
Traditional recipes for Caesar dressing usually call for raw eggs, but like most, I choose not to consume raw eggs in this form of a salad.
Also, when consuming salads as a meal, I need a complete package including protein, a good dose of fiber and a decent amount of healthy carbs and fat.
To give my Caesar salad a healthy boost, my recipe calls for red bell pepper, with the addition of plant based protein of garbanzo beans, which compliment this salad wonderfully.
Another change that I did from just using romaine lettuce, the addition of curly kale is added for extra nutrition. Yes, I'm a dark green leafy fan!
Now, lets talk about the salad dressing. Making your own salad dressing from "scratch" always works instead of bottled dressings that has a laundry lists of ingredients and it just plain tastes better!
To give this salad dressing and extra flavor boost, I used roasted garlic instead of raw. The flavor of roasted garlic is way more mellow, creamier than raw garlic and my recipe uses a whole head. (No worries, as the flavor is way less intense without the sharpness!)
To roast garlic is simple. All you have to do is cut off the top, (not the root end) and drizzle the cut part with a drizzle of olive oil, salt & pepper and bake in an oven at 400F for 35-40 minutes until lightly browned. Wrap up in aluminum foil before popping in the oven.
My other addition from the traditional Caesar is that I replace anchovies with Asian fish sauce. It gives this dressing a delightful slight fishiness without the overpowering flavor of anchovies with slightly less salt flavor.
If you want to give my recipe a try, here is the link to my Roasted Garlic Eggless Caesar Salad with
details on how to make this from beginning to end.
Lastly, eating salads is definitely a healthy habit you can keep for a lifetime. They are easy to make, can be delicious and satisfying.
Eat Good, Look Good, Feel Good!
Vanessa LaBranche/Chef Instructor-Culinary Educator