Celebrate fall and the cooler weather with a warm salad, like this Grilled Caesar Salad with Pomegranate, Pepitas and Shallots.
As summer winds down, in some parts of this country the air gets a touch of a chill. There’s back to school shopping and soccer practice and pumpkins starting to pop up everywhere. With the cooler weather, everyone is flocking to soups and stews.
Who wants to curl up to a cold salad when it’s cold outside? Let’s mix it up! why not have a WARM salad instead, even a warm caesar salad?! Now you’re talking!
What is a Caesar Salad?
Many people associate the Caesar salad being an Italian in origins, even thinking it might have something to do with that ancient Roman dynasty. No it’s not that Caesar. It is also NOT from Las Vegas or created from any famous restaurant from that golden city.
The Caesar salad was created by restaurateur Caesar Cardini who had restaurants in Mexico and the US in the 1920s. He created this salad one night when he was low on supplies and he had to make do with what he found. And boy did he come up with something special.
The classic Caesar salad is made with romaine lettuce and croutons with a tangy dressing made with with lemon juice, olive oil, egg, Worcestershire sauce, anchovies, garlic, Dijon mustard, Parmesan cheese, and black pepper.
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A Grilled Caesar Salad?
Before you think I’m totally off my rocker by talking about a grilled Caesar salad, hear me out. The first time I ate grilled romaine lettuce was at a restaurant almost 20 years ago. The dish was recommended by a coworker of mine, and I was pleasantly surprised with how delicious it was.
Now you may not feel like lighting up the grill for this salad, especially if the weather outside is not cooperating with you. A grill pan works perfectly for this dish, and you can cook this indoors while sporting your warm fuzzy socks. You are not cooking the romaine hearts completely, just enough to soften the firm core and slightly wilting the leaves.
Because I like to eat what is in season, I added pomegranate arils, toasted pepitas and caramelized shallots over my grilled Caesar salad. And if you read my blog, you know that I love adding pomegranate to everything!
Do all Caesar dressings have anchovies?
According to Caesar Cardini’s daughter, the original caesar salad dressing did NOT contain anchovies. I am not a huge fan of anchovies, so I don’t usually keep anchovy paste in stock in my house.
I have found that capers make a fabulous substitute for anchovy paste in caesar salad dressing. The beauty of making your own Caesar dressing and using real eggs for homemade mayonnaise is the use of wholesome ingredients that aren’t processed or full of hidden amounts of sugar or other secret ingredients.
By using pasteurized eggs, you are guaranteed that you will not get salmonella poisoning from eating their raw eggs.
My Camping Cookbook
If you like this recipe for grilled Caesar salad and are looking for more outdoor recipe inspiration, check out my new cookbook, The Camp & Cabin Cookbook (Countryman Press 2018). I have 100 recipes that are all prepared outdoors and over fire using multiple techniques. Learn more about my new book and where you can get your copy here!
- 1 Safest Choice™ pasteurized egg
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 TBS lemon juice
- 2 TBS chopped parsley
- ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 TBS capers
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed
- ½ cup + 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil (divided)
- 2 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
- 12 shallots
- 6 romaine hearts, halved lengthwise
- ¼ cup pepitas
- ½ cup pomegranate arils
- ¼ shaved Parmesan cheese
- In a blender or food processor blend egg, mustard, lemon juice, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, capers, garlic, salt and pepper on high until whipped.
- While the motor is running, slowly drizzle in ½ cup extra virgin olive oil.
- Keep blending until dressing is creamy.
- Transfer dressing into serving bottle and stir in 2 TBS grated Parmesan cheese.
- Refrigerate dressing until ready to serve.
- Place a small pan over medium high heat and add 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil.
- When oil is hot, add shallots and sauté until caramelized, but not mushy.
- Toss in pepitas and toast for 1-2 minutes, then remove from heat and reserve.
- Heat a large grill pan or outdoor grill to high heat and add 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil.
- When oil is hot, grill halved romaine hearts, cut side down, until brown, about 3 minutes.
- Turn romaine hears over and grill other side for an addition 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer romaine hearts to serving plate and garnish with caramelized shallots, toasted pepitas,, pomegranate arils and shaved parmesan cheese.
- Serve immediately with Caesar dressing.
This recipe allots one romaine heat (2 halves) per person. If you are using this recipe as a side dish or if your romaine hearts are large, feel free to serve ½ romaine heart per person.
Serving Size:2 romaine halves
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 221Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 342mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 9gSugar: 12gProtein: 10g
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Disclosure: As I am part of the Darling Dozen, I did receive a stipend from Davidson’s Safest Choice® Pasteurized Eggs to develop a recipe using their pasteurized eggs. The story I have written is all true, and the opinions are truly mine. If I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t blog about it.