Appetizers Entrees Plates Sides

How To Take Your Basic Caesar Salad To The Next Level

June 15, 2016

Caesar salad has been my favorite salad for as long as I can remember. I love the creaminess and saltiness of the dressing and the crunch and sweetness of romaine hearts. I’m not usually a huge fan of leafy greens, so the crisp texture of the romaine is perfect for me. But despite this, there are two other things that I never liked about a basic Caesar salad:

1.) It only has one vegetable in it– romaine lettuce (and in my opinion, a good salad needs more vegetables than that).

2.) I don’t like the greasy and super dry store bought croutons that usually come with the salad.

So I’ve started experimenting with the classic recipe by adding in some ingredients that I love such as olives, artichoke hearts, and pickled red onions. I also found a super easy and quick way to make my own croutons. These little changes and additions will take your basic Caesar salad to the next level. There are so many more flavors and textures with the added vegetables and the homemade croutons are crunchy and buttery on the outside and yet chewy on the inside– absolute perfection. Try making your Caesar salad this way and you’ll never go back to the boring basic!

So much flavor!

If you don’t like a particular ingredient, try substituting it with something else that sounds good to you. Use this recipe as a general guideline for how much of everything to add. 

Ingredients For Upgraded Caesar Salad:

3 romaine hearts
1/3-1/2 cup Caesar salad dressing
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/3 cup marinated artichoke hearts, rough chopped
1/3 cup sliced green olives
1/4 cup pickled red onions
1 lemon cut into wedges for serving
2 cups homemade garlic croutons

Optional: grilled salmon for topping

Caesar salad

 

For the Pickled Red Onions:
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup red wine or apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
a few dashes of salt

For the Homemade Garlic Croutons:
1 mini baguette (or enough for about two cups of bread cubes)
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and garlic powder to taste

For the Grilled Salmon:
1 lb salmon filet
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh thyme or fresh herb of choice
salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

Directions For Upgraded Caesar Salad:

Start by pickling the red onions and making the croutons. The rest of the salad will take just a few minutes to toss together! If you are planning to make this an entree salad, prepare and grill your choice of protein (I added salmon this time) before tossing the salad. 

Make some cuts down the center of the ribs on the Romaine hearts, then cut across into perfect bite-size pieces of lettuce.

Caesar Salad

Keep cutting until only 1 - 2 inches of the cob are left

Keep cutting until only 1 – 2 inches of the cob are left

Add about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of Caesar salad dressing and toss the lettuce in a large bowl. I like a generous amount of dressing so I used 1/2 a cup.

Toss in a large bowl

Toss in a large bowl

You can make your own Caesar dressing or use store bought. I used this one from Fred Meyer and really liked it. It was super thick and creamy.

caesar salad

Add the Parmesan cheese and toss again.

Caesar salad

Add artichoke hearts, sliced olives, pickled red onions, and croutons then toss lightly.

My favorite olives are these double stuffed garlic & jalapeño ones from Costco. So addictively good!

My favorite olives to use for this salad.

My favorite olives to use for this salad.

 

Add the final ingredients and toss lightly!

Add the final ingredients and toss lightly!

Serve with a wedge of lemon on each plate so everyone can top off their salad with some fresh lemon juice.

Serve with a lemon wedge.

Serve with a lemon wedge.

This is great as a starter salad or side salad, but my favorite way to enjoy it is to top it with grilled salmon or chicken. It’s a perfect lunch or dinner on a warm summer day!

Top with grilled salmon to make it an entree salad.

Top with grilled salmon to make it an entree salad.

 

For the Pickled Red Onions:

Thinly slice half of a red onion.

Thinly slice 1/2 a red onion.

Thinly slice 1/2 a red onion.

Place in a small bowl and add 1 cup of red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar (or a mix of the two).
Add about 2 tablespoons of sugar and a few dashes of salt.

4 simple ingredients to make pickled onions!

4 simple ingredients to make pickled onions!

Stir to coat all onions, cover, and leave at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before using. The pickled onions can then be stored covered in the refrigerator for a week. They’re a great topping for any salad, sandwich, or tacos!

Pickled red onions

Pickled red onions

For the Homemade Garlic Croutons:

Cut one small baguette into cubes (so you have about two cups).

Easy homemade garlic croutons

Easy homemade garlic croutons

Heat a couple tablespoons of butter with a drizzle of olive oil in a non stick pan over medium heat.

Caesar salad

Butter and olive oil for toasting croutons.

Add cubed bread and stir to coat with butter and olive oil.
Reduce heat to low.
Season with salt and garlic powder and toast on all sides until starting to turn golden brown.

Toasted croutons ready to be eaten!

Toasted croutons ready to be eaten!

For the Grilled Salmon:

Salmon filet

Salmon filet

Pat dry salmon and brush with olive oil.
Season on both sides with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.
Rub in fresh thyme and squeeze some fresh lemon juice on top.

Seasoned salmon filet ready to grill.

Seasoned salmon filet ready to grill.

Grill skin side up on high for about 3-4 minutes then turn and grill the skin side for an additional 2-3 minutes.
The skin can be easily removed before serving.

Grilled salmon Caesar salad.

Grilled salmon Caesar salad.

The salmon is juicy, flaky, and flavorful. The perfect topping to make this upgraded Caesar salad into an entree!

What’s your favorite protein to add to Caesar salad? What are some ingredients that you like adding to your Caesar salad? I’d love to hear from you!

 

xoxo,

Yuli

PS: The winner of our Bread & Wine book giveaway is one of our email subscribers, Diana B.! Congratulations! (Check your email inbox for details.)

 

 

Caesar salad

How To Take Your Basic Caesar Salad To The Next Level

Ingredients

  • 3 romaine hearts
  • 1/3-1/2 cup Caesar salad dressing
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup marinated artichoke hearts, rough chopped
  • 1/3 cup sliced green olives
  • 1/4 cup pickled red onions
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges for serving
  • 2 cups homemade garlic croutons
  • Optional: grilled salmon for topping
    For the Pickled Red Onions
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup red wine or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • a few dashes of salt
    For the Homemade Garlic Croutons
  • 1 mini baguette (or enough for about two cups of bread cubes)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and garlic powder to taste
    For the Grilled Salmon
  • 1 lb salmon filet
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme or fresh herb of choice
  • salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

Instructions

  1. Make some cuts down the center of the ribs on the Romaine hearts, then cut across into perfect bite-size pieces of lettuce
  2. Add about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of Caesar salad dressing and toss the lettuce in a large bowl
  3. Add Parmesan cheese and toss again
  4. Add artichoke hearts, sliced olives, pickled red onions, and croutons and toss lightly
  5. Serve with a wedge of lemon
  6. Optional: top with grilled salmon (or protein of choice) to make this an entree salad
    For the Pickled Red Onions
  1. Thinly slice half of a red onion
  2. Place in a small bowl and add 1 cup of red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar (or a mix of the two)
  3. Add about 2 tablespoons of sugar and a few dashes of salt
  4. Stir to coat all onions, cover, and leave at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before using
  5. The pickled onions can then be stored covered in the refrigerator for a week
    For the Homemade Garlic Croutons:
  1. Cut one small baguette into cubes (about two cups)
  2. Heat a couple tablespoons of butter with a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat
  3. Add cubed bread and stir to coat with butter and olive oil
  4. Reduce heat to low
  5. Season with salt and garlic and toast on all sides until starting to turn golden brown
    For the Grilled Salmon
  1. Pat dry salmon and brush with olive oil
  2. Season on both sides with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
  3. Rub in fresh thyme and squeeze some fresh lemon juice on top
  4. Grill skin side up on high for about 3-4 minutes then turn and grill the skin side for an additional 2-3 minutes
  5. Remove skin before serving
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://sweetsomethingsblog.com/2016/06/15/caesar-salad/

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply