Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

It’s 1994 and every restaurant has a grilled chicken caesar salad on the menu.  People are eating it in droves (sometimes in a gloopy wrap) thinking it’s healthy.  Then one day everyone wakes up and realizes it’s boring and oh by the way, the dressing you are pouring on that lettuce is super high in calories and fat!!  Our sad salad is relegated to the pile of forgotten food fads.  I decided to bring it back.  This is sort of a deconstructed version of the old favorite and it’s certainly healthier.  I use a light hand with the dressing and use light mayo, no egg and no olive oil but trust me it has tons of flavor.  That comes courtesy of lots of garlic, lemon, and anchovy paste.  Yes anchovy paste – it’s not fishy at all and adds a certain something that you just can’t get without it.  I really like this one by Flott from Italy but you can really get whatever your local super market has, they usually stock it in the Italian section.  If you have whole anchovies and want to mince those instead, by all means, but the paste is really convenient and a good “gateway” for folks that are not crazy about cutting up whole little fishies.  I also grill the romaine which is a great technique that imparts a nice charred, smokey flavor to an admittedly boring lettuce.  Last but not least, I upgraded the sad little packaged crutons into grilled garlic bread.  This is a great weeknight dinner that is actually a no pot meal!  Go ahead and cut everything up and serve tossed together in a salad bowl or stick with the deconstructed route like it did and throw it all on a big platter.  Either way this will be one of the easiest meals you make all summer.

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:   bringing back an old friend
Special Equipment:  none

  • 1/3 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • the juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated or minced
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 heads of romaine, cut in half lengthwise
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 4 slices of thick cut bread
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and cut in half
  • grated parmesan for serving

In a small bowl whisk the mayo, anchovy paste, lemon juice, and grated garlic until combined.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside (this also can keep in the fridge for several days).  Light your grill to medium high and drizzle the romaine, chicken breasts and bread with olive oil on both sides and salt and pepper the chicken.  If your chicken breasts are really thick I suggest pounding them with a meat tenderizer or the bottom of a heavy pan between 2 pieces of saran wrap so that they cook evenly.  Throw the chicken on the grill and cook approximately 4 to 5 minutes per side until cooked through.  Transfer to a cutting board and cover with tin foil.  While the chicken rests grill the romaine and bread approximately, 2 to 3 minutes per side until you get good grill marks.  Remove from the grill and rub the bread with the cut side of the garlic clove.

DSC00556

Slice the chicken and arrange on a platter with the garlic bread and grilled romaine hearts.  Drizzle with half the dressing and serve the rest on the side along with the grated parmesan.

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Special Equipment:  none

  • 1/3 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • the juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated or minced
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 heads of romaine, cut in half lengthwise
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 4 slices of thick cut bread
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and cut in half
  • grated parmesan for serving

In a small bowl whisk the mayo, anchovy paste, lemon juice, and grated garlic until combined.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside (this also can keep in the fridge for several days).  Light your grill to medium high and drizzle the romaine, chicken breasts and bread with olive oil on both sides and salt and pepper the chicken. Throw the chicken on the grill and cook approximately 4 to 5 minutes per side until cooked through.  Transfer to a cutting board and cover with tin foil.  While the chicken rests grill the romaine and bread approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side until you get good grill marks.  Remove from the grill and rub the bread with the cut sides of the garlic clove.  Slice the chicken and arrange on a platter with the garlic bread and grilled romaine hearts.  Drizzle with half the dressing and serve the rest on the side along with the grated parmesan.

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