Who doesn’t love classic Caesar salad? What makes a Caesar salad so amazing? After all it’s just torn lettuce topped with Parmesan cheese and garlicky croutons; nothing special there. We all know it’s the dressing, of course with all it’s creaminess, cheesiness and saltiness. When given a choice of salad dressings I choose Caesar every time. And Caesar dressing tastes wonderful on any salad, or anywhere for that matter, not just a traditional Caesar salad. Isn’t it crazy that a salad is named after the dressing? I’d want a salad named after me. Ranch dressing might have it’s own salad, but it hasn’t quite achieved that ranking yet.
I would love to eat Caesar dressing every day, just like I’d like to use heavy cream in my soups and cream sauces, but for me some foods are just too unhealthy and are categorized as my once-in-awhile foods. I don’t eliminate them, I just limit them. But could I possibly find a way to lower the quantity and quality of fat in Caesar dressing, but still keep the classic flavors we all love and adore? The answer is YES! This is it. This is the dressing I’ve been looking for. I experimented with multiple ideas and came up with a good compromise. I started with a great base recipe from a fabulous food blog, Once Upon A Chef. It incorporates mayonnaise instead of the traditional method of oil thickened with raw eggs, making it much safer for the kids.
The must-haves: garlic, anchovy paste (just plug your nose and squirt it in), Dijon mustard and lemon juice. The compromises: olive oil-based mayonnaise, plain Greek yogurt and olive oil. It’s pretty simple really, but the reduction in quantity of mayonnaise and the switch to Greek yogurt and olive oil made all the nutritional difference without affecting the flavor profile dramatically. We love this dressing, so much that I can’t stop licking my plate.
- Light Homemade Caesar Dressing
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp anchovy paste (found near the canned tuna)
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup olive oil-based mayonnaise (I use Best Foods)
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Combine all ingredients except olive oil in a container of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Cover and process until smooth and creamy. With the machine running, pour the olive oil through the chute to incorporate into the dressing. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.