Grilled Caesar Salad with Toasted Chickpeas

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Lettuce on the grill? I know. It sounds a little crazy. Turns out, however, that it is super-easy! Grilling gives the crisp leaves a slightly smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with a creamy, sharp Caesar Dressing. Toasted chickpeas add a gluten-free crunch - something that Jamie Vespa’s Cooking Light recipe Grilled Caesar Salad with Sourdough Breadcrumbs inspired me try. You can toast your own chickpeas, or opt for a store-bought version.  

Don’t have time to grill? No problem. Just cook the lettuce on a grill pan over your stove. It provides a great texture to the lettuce and makes the salad equally as enjoyable.

Give it a try the next time you’re grilling. I promise you won’t be disappointed, and you’ll definitely impress others with your culinary creativity!

Let me know how you serve this salad by sharing your final product over on my social media pages : Instagram @realfoodreallife_rd / Facebook @Real Food. Real Life. - Carolyn Williams, PHD, RD. Enjoy!

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Grilled Caesar Salad with Toasted Chickpeas

Lettuce on the grill? Turns out it is super-easy, and grilling gives the crisp leaves a slightly smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with a creamy, sharp Caesar Dressing. Toasted chickpeas add a gluten-free crunch. Toast your own chickpeas, or opt for a store-bought version.  

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 batch of Easy Caesar Dressing (recipe below or ½ cup store-bought Caesar dressing)

  • 1 large romaine lettuce heart, quartered lengthwise

  • Cooking Spray

  • 1/3 cup toasted sea salt chickpeas (such as Saffron Road)

  • Shaved Parmesan cheese

  • Freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

  1. Prepare Easy Caesar Dressing per instructions.

  2. Preheat grill to medium-high heat (about 450 degrees).

  3. Coat sides of romaine hearts with cooking spray. Place romaine quarters, cut sides down, on a grill grate. Grill until light grill marks appear, about 2 minutes), tuning after 1 minute. Watch closely to prevent charring or burning.

  4. Place 1 quarter romaine lettuce on separate plates. Spoon Easy Caesar Dressing evenly over each plate. Top with shaved Parmesan, freshly ground pepper and toasted chickpeas, if desired.

  5. OPTIONAL: No grill? Using a grill pan is also an option. Heat grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill romaine quarters in grill pan, about 1 minute on each side, or until slightly charred.


Easy Caesar Dressing

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons canola or avocado oil mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 ½ tablespoon lemon juice

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

  • Dash of salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 2 -3 tablespoons warm water

  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese

  • OPTIONAL: 1 teaspoon anchovy paste

METHOD

  1. Combine mayonnaise, oil, juice, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and optional anchovy paste in a small bowl. Slowly whisk to combine adding warm water as needed to loosen mixture. Stir in cheese. Cover and chill until serving. 


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