Caesar salads are the perfect compliment to almost any dish. It seems to be a pretty universally liked dish and you can find them at almost any restaurant. The only down side to Caesar salads is the dressings seem to range in flavor and calories!! I never know if I’m starting my dinner with a 150 calorie or 500 calorie plate. Add that to the calories of the meal and it no longer seems like a healthy start to my meal. I typically avoid them all together and opt for some greens with a side of balsamic vinegar. Boring!
My husband isn’t much of a greens guy, but he often orders Caesar salads as an appetizer when we dine out. In an effort to make a yummy dish he can snack on while I plate dinner, I searched the grocery store to find a good Caesar dressing we would both enjoy, but when I started reading the labels, I was disappointed. Many of the dressings were super high in calories and packed with oils and fats. Those that were labeled “low fat” were loaded with sodium and sugar! This made for the perfect challenge to create something yummy that I could feel good about.
Of course, my go to is greek yogurt. I put that on everything, so it’s no shock the base of this dressing is greek yogurt. I have a shelf in our fridge dedicated to yogurt and I use mostly 2%, but you could opt for non fat or whole yogurt, depending on your preference. I’ve made this with every type and when it’s all mixed together, every batch tastes the same to me.
I feel like anchovies can really overpower a dish so I caution you to use a measuring spoon for the anchovies and taste the final product before deciding to add any more. I’ll tell you, experimenting with different variables to create this recipe was a bit harder than usual. It took around 12 attempts to finalize. The flavors are so strong, judge a smudge of a difference can make or ruin the flavor. In one version, I used kalamata olives in place of the olive oil and blended it all in the morning. At first taste, it was pretty awful, but I put it in the fridge to get Lou’s input that evening and by then, the flavors had blended nicely and it actually made for a really good flavor with good color. I ended up whipping up the recipe below and tossing together two salads so we can do a side by side comparison. It was a close race, but we both felt using olive oil was the way to go.
- 7oz Fage low fat greek yogurt
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon Stone Ground Mustard
- 1 Tablespoon grated Parmesan, Romano & Asiano Cheese blend (grated parm will work)
- .5 Tablespoon garlic paste
- 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoon anchovy paste
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- .5 teaspoon sea salt
For the Salad
- Romaine hearts, chopped
- Shaved parmesan cheese
- Blend all ingredients for the dressing in a food processor.
- Toss 1/8 dressing with 1 – 1.5 romaine hearts chopped.
- Top with shredded parmesan cheese.
- Store in fridge for up to a week.