What Inspired the Recipe
This recipe's inspiration comes from my late grandmother, my Grammy Sue. She was a petite lady with snowy white hair who embodied all the quintessential ‘grandma’ things like bird watching, gardening, sewing, and knitting – but don’t be fooled, she also had a real stubborn side with a wicked sense of humor (in the best way possible of course). But for our purpose here, she was a wonderful cook. I remember trying her homemade Caesar salad dressing growing up and thinking it was truly magnificent. One of my favorite homemade dressings; light, tangy and creamy capturing the true essence of Caesar salad. I’ve made a few modifications to the recipe, to help mellow out the tang, but I think she’d approve! It’s a must include with this vegetable forward Caesar salad. Yes, I’m tossing in a few extra veggies but don’t worry, the parm and croutons are still included! Try and reserve your comments for the end because I think you might actually like it!
I'm the creator, recipe developer, and photographer behind The Inspired Dish. As a Registered Dietitian and self-proclaimed foodie, I love (love, love) exploring the world of food and in turn, creating flavorful + swoon worthy recipes inspired from everyday life. When I'm not obsessing over food you can find me running, spending time with my husband, or trying a new restaurant in Raleigh!
All the details
I love all things Caesar: Caesar Salad, pasta salad, wraps, Little Caesars ... You name it and if it has the essence of Caesar, I'm sold! It's just so classic and really hard to mess up but not everyone can get it right. Mhmm, think about that one for a minute. My dear Grandma though, she knew what she was doing. This Caesar Salad dressing is spot on. Some dressings can be too heavy, literally weighing down the greens whereas others are too oily. This is like the Goldilocks of Caesar dressings. Sadly, my grandma is no longer around to make her wonderful dressing anymore, but I can guarantee her this salad dressing will forever live on within our household and hopefully yours too!
CAESAR SALAD INGREDIENTS
The Classic Caesar salad only calls for four ingredients: leafy greens, parmesan cheese, croutons, and Caesar salad dressing. This salad on the other hand pulls in a few more nutritious components to really pack the salad with an extra veggie punch and crunch. My go-to extra ingredients include shredded carrots, diced Roma tomatoes, grilled chicken, and roasted chickpeas.
HOW TO MAKE CAESAR SALAD DRESSING
My Grandma's homemade Caesar salad dressing is simple to make, all you need is a blender. Add roasted garlic, egg, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, and whole grain mustard to blender. Blend together for about 1-2 minutes. While blender is still running, slowly drizzle olive oil with other ingredients. This will emulsify the dressing making it smooth and creamy versus staying oily. Blend for another 2 minutes until dressing is fully emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate in well-sealed container or mason jar. Will keep in the refrigerator for about a week.
Contrary to popular belief, the Caesar salad doesn't originate from Italy nor was it the favorite side salad of Romes former dictator, Mr. Julias Caesar. I know, kind of shocking, isn't it? I'd love to imagine him sitting at a grand marble table getting his daily serving of veggies in via a Caesar salad. But no, the classic dish got its humble beginning from Tijuana, Mexico of all places. Rumor has it Caesar Cardini was a restauranter looking to escape the prohibition, so he opened a restaurant just south of the border allowing him to serve alcohol and I guess, Caesar salads! Smart man, smart man! Now that I mention it, this salad will pair wonderfully with a crisp white wine; think sauvignon Blanc, pinot grigio or a personal fav, Albariño.
4 side salads
A fresh take on the Classic Caesar Salad (yes, Parm + Croutons still included) with a couple extra ingredients to help this light yet creamy homemade Caesar Salad dressing really shine!
- 1 large head Romaine Lettuce, roughly chopped
- 1 Roma tomato, diced
- 1/2 cup carrots, shredded
- 1/4 cup chickpeas, roasted
- 2 grilled chicken breasts, chopped
- 1/4 cup Garlic + Thyme croutons
- 1/3 cup fresh parmesan, grated
- lemon wedge for garnish
CAESAR SALAD DRESSING
- 4 small cloves Roasted Garlic
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup fresh parmesan
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- dash Tabasco sauce
- salt + pepper to taste
- In a blender, combine roasted garlic, egg, parmesan, lemon juice, whole grain mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco.
- Blend for 1-2 minutes until well combined.
- Slowly drizzle in extra virgin olive oil while blending.
- Blend another 2 minutes until dressing is completely emulsified.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Rinse, dry and roughly chop romaine lettuce into bite sized pieces.
- Place in large serving bowl and top with shredded carrots, diced tomatoes, roasted chickpeas, grilled chicken. and croutons.
- To top, grate parmesan cheese over top and drizzle with homemade Caesar dressing.
- Toss gently until lettuce is evenly coated.
I'm Katie Rogers, the creator, recipe developer, and photographer behind The Inspired Dish. I love spending time in the kitchen creating fun, flavorful, and easy recipes worth every bite.