Hail! Caesar: The almond edition

I think Caesar salad may be my ultimate comfort food-of-choice. For the longest time I’ve been doing eggless versions at home with sherry vinegar, lemon, garlic, capers, anchovy paste, Dijon, EVOO, etc. However, I just came across a new rendition of a Caesar-like dressing and after the first time making it, I got the feeling that it will supplant all my egg and eggless versions for years to come. Diana Henry, a UK cookbook author and food writer, substitutes almonds in place of much of the olive oil in her latest cookbook, A Change of Appetite. I felt inclined to add a little Dijon and capers as an homage to my old recipes, but with or without, this recipe is simply delicious and no one will ever guess its nutty secret.  

Servings: 4

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 large head romaine lettuce or four heads of little gem lettuces
  • 6 anchovy fillets, drained of oil (or approx. 1 tbsp anchovy paste or 4-5 squiggly inches)
  • ¼ cup blanched almonds
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp capers, drained
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp water, additional as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated
  • Whole wheat croutons of choice, homemade if possible
  • Grilled lean protein of choice, optional

Directions

Separate lettuce, wash, and dry. In a small food processor, combine the anchovies, almonds, mustard, garlic and capers and process to a paste. Scrape down the sides and, with the motor running, slowly add the lemon juice, olive oil, and water (these can be combined in a larger measuring cup for ease of drippage). Add additional water as needed for a salad dressing-like consistency. Add a few grinds of black pepper. Taste and add salt only if needed (in my three times of making this recipe I haven’t needed any extra salt because of the anchovies and capers). Toss the lettuces, dressing, cheese, and croutons together and serve. Top with small portion of lean protein if desired. 

Nutrition Information (per serving)

  • (Without added croutons or protein source. 1/4 c croutons adds about 50 calories and 7 g carbohydrate).
  • Calories: 180
  • Total Fat: 14 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 10 mg
  • Sodium: 380 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 7 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2 g
  • Sugars: 3 g
  • Protein: 8 g

Contributor

Benjamin Maring, MD

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