Let’s add a little spice to our salad bowl, shall we?
Do you have a bad boyfriend restaurant? One to which you keep returning, even though it never treats (or feeds) you right?
There is a restaurant near where we live. It’s right on the Hudson River, with views of the New York City skyline in the distance. There is an outdoor bar in the warm months, and the bartenders mix a killer Manhattan. But the food is…eh.
Yet we keep going back. We want it to be amazing. Maybe they will have a new chef, we say. This time it will be different. But without fail, the single thing on the menu that I want to order is this: a chipotle Caesar salad.
I figured it was high time I learned how to make it myself, if for no other reason than to finally “break up” with the restaurant. If I can make a delicious version at home, there really is no reason to go to the restaurant.
Let’s talk about this dressing ↑↑↑. It’s creamy, spicy, and…healthy? Yes! The not-so-secret ingredient, given the title of this post, is Greek yogurt. It adds the same rich, thick texture that mayonnaise would, for only a fraction of the calories. Other flavor agents include Parmesan cheese, Dijon mustard, anchovy paste, and the sauce from a can of chipotle chilis. Just whirl everything in a food processor and stash it in the fridge. It will keep for about a week.
Since my dressing is kind of daring (um, can salad dressing be daring? Maybe not so much), I stuck with traditional ingredients for the actual salad: crisp romaine lettuce, crunchy French bread croutons, and big shreds of Parmesan cheese. But feel free to experiment! Mix in some kale or spinach, or try cornbread or muti-grain croutons. It should go without saying that to make this salad a meal, top it with grilled chicken or shrimp.
I promise this salad will love you the way you deserve to be loved. ?
- 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise (light or regular)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 2 teaspoons adobo sauce from can of chipotle chilis
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
- 1 large head romaine lettuce, washed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup croutons (preferably homemade, see note)
- To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
- To make the salad, put the romaine in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and croutons. Drizzle with half the dressing. Taste, and add more dressing as needed.
- 1) Here is how I make croutons: Cut a few pieces of leftover French bread into large dice. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. I toast them in a toaster oven, but you can also toast them in a 350°F oven until golden.
- 2) Nutrition facts are for salad with 1/4 of the dressing.