Once we’ve stuffed ourselves full of Thanksgiving goodness, there might be the need for a some lighter meals until the next indulgent holiday event arises. Thanks to Pamela from the fun and tasty blog My Man’s Belly for this lighter version of one of my favorites, grilled Caesar salad.
I’m thrilled to be doing a guest post for Meghan today, but with that comes a little pressure. What to write? What to make? How long? How short? Yes, I have probably over analyzed this, which is my nature.
If you’re wondering who this neurotic mess is that you’re reading right now, my name is Pamela and I write a blog called My Man’s Belly. If you give the site a visit, you’ll find recipes and relationship advice because I believe that food and romance are very intertwined.
Since we’re getting into that time of year when we’re all looking for comfort foods, or at least food that will help to warm us up, I thought I’d show you the recipe I use for making grilled Caesar salad. Yes, I live in sunny California and can use my grill year round, but this can just as easily be made in a grill pan on your stove top.
I realize that Caesar salads, while popular, are not usually the lowest of calorie salads. It’s also a salad that most people don’t make at home without resorting to buying a bottle of Caesar dressing. Maybe it’s the raw egg, called for in the recipe, or just the amount of time it takes to make up the dressing. Either way, I’ve got you covered with this grilled Caesar salad recipe.
Instead of the usual Caesar dressing, which basically requires you to make your own mayonnaise, I’ve lightened this up by starting with fat free plain yogurt. From there, the ingredients are easy to find and easy to make into the dressing.
A quick grilling of the lettuce, followed by a light coating of dressing and another fast trip on the grill and you’re ready to eat. Oh, and did I mention that you’ll be making your own croutons at the same time using the same dressing (which, by the way, makes THE BEST garlic bread)?
If you want to make a meal out of this salad, instead of just a side dish or appetizer, you could toss some chicken breasts on the grill a little ahead of time and everything will be finished at the same time.
Recipe: Grilled Caesar Salad
2 Anchovies (drained)
1 Clove Garlic
½ Cup Plain, Non-Fat, Yogurt
2 Teaspoons Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
4 Heads Baby Romaine Lettuce
Parmesan Cheese (optional)
Place anchovies and garlic clove in mortar and pestle or into a small flat bottomed bowl. Add a pinch of kosher salt to the pestle/bowl and mash the garlic and anchovies into a smooth paste.
Add the yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil and a few grinds of pepper to another bowl then add in the garlic/anchovy paste.
Stir to thoroughly combine.
Let sit for 20 – 30 minutes or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days before using.
Preheat your grill or grill pan.
Cut Romaine heads in half lengthwise. Keep the core attached to the lettuce so that it doesn’t fall apart on the grill.
Lightly drizzle the cut side of each lettuce half with some olive oil.
Place lettuce, cut side down, onto grill surface.
Cook for 30 – 60 seconds. You just want a light char on the lettuce leaves.
Using a pastry brush, or the back of a spoon, lightly coat the leaves with the dressing. You’ll want to carefully pull back some of the leaves so that you can get a bit of dressing on the inside of all of the lettuce leaves.
If you’re making the croutons, or garlic bread, spread a bit of the Caesar dressing on the cut side of the bread.
Place the dressed lettuce, and bread, cut side down on the grill.
Grill for 1 – 2 minutes (depending on how hot your grill is). This time, you’ll be getting a bit more char on the leaves. The bread may take a bit longer to cook.
Remove lettuce and bread from the grill when it is slightly wilted and a bit more charred than after the first grilling.
Depending on the size of your Romaine, and the appetites of your guests, this will either make 4 (full head) servings or 8 (half head servings).
Cut bread into cubes, if using as croutons, and sprinkle around lettuce.
Serve with lemon wedges and grated Parmesan Cheese.