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Semi-Healthy Caesar Salad

Missy Robbins' Semi-Healthy Caesar
Missy Robbins' Semi-Healthy CaesarNathan Congleton/TODAY


  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 5 anchovy filets
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 5 dashes hot sauce, preferably Tabasco
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, divided
  • 3 hearts romaine lettuce, outer leaves discarded, washed and cored
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Chef notes

    Not only is Caesar salad one of my favorite things in the world to eat but it's also the first thing I learned to make in my very first restaurant job. Unfortunately, it is loaded with cheese, egg yolks and oil. Let's face it: We all pretend we are eating healthy if we are eating a salad, but traditional Caesar dressings (and lots of other creamy dressings) can be big, fat calorie offenders. I discovered that using yogurt instead of oil and eggs still allowed me to keep the creamy texture and garlicky, anchovy flavors of this wonderful dressing without ruining my diet.



    Place the garlic, anchovies, mustard, peppercorns, red wine vinegar, hot sauce, Worcestershire and lemon juice in a blender. Blend on medium-high speed until a paste is formed and the garlic and peppercorns are completely crushed and blended. Transfer to a mixing bowl.


    Gently fold in the yogurt and 1/2 cup of the Parmigiano Reggiano (I like my dressing thick, but you can thin it out a touch by adding a drop or two of water).


    Place the clean, dry romaine leaves in a large mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup dressing and use your hands to gently mix until all the leaves are coated. Store the rest of the dressing in a tightly sealed container in the fridge and keep on hand for the week.


    Top with the remaining grated Parmigiano and a few twists of black pepper.