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.
- 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
1. 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.
2. 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).
3. 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.
4. Top with the remaining grated Parmigiano and a few twists of black pepper.