Recipe: A Great Twist on Caesar Salad


Published April 16, 2024


I love salads…love them! All different kinds! But my absolute favourite is the king of all salads….the Caesar! Fresh romaine, parmesan cheese, crisp bacon and that savoury, tangy, lemony perfect dressing…you can’t go wrong. In fact, amongst my in-laws and friends I’ve become quite well-known for my Caesar dressing…one passed down from my grandfather to my mother and then to me. I still can’t make it as well as my mom but I do think salads are one of those things that just taste better when someone else makes them for you. For example, Carole’s salads are always divine…don’t miss her blog on her salad dressing formula

Now…all this being said…there is nothing like the classic BUT I’ve recently come across a recipe with a modern, fresh twist and I absolutely love it for weekday lunches as it is quick and easy to prepare and is very satisfying. It is from Kathleen Ashmore’s new cookbook “Big Bites” which is a lovely book but also has amazing recipes using whole ingredients – it is definitely worth purchasing! I hope you enjoy her take on Caesar Salad as much as I am. 


Crispy Chickpeas
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
Caesar Dressing
  • 3 oil packed anchovy fillets, or 1 tsp anchovy paste
  • 1 large garlic clove, smashed
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup neutral oil
  • 3 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 large head romaine, torn or thinly sliced into ribbons
  • 1 large fennel bulb, sliced thin, with fronds reserved for serving
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • Freshly cracked pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 450° F and pat the drained chickpeas very dry with a kitchen towel. 
  2. Toss the chickpeas with the olive oil and salt on a sheet pan and bake for about 20 minutes until crispy, shaking the pan halfway through cooking time. 
  3. To make the Caesar dressing, coming all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. 
  4. Combine the salad ingredients in a large serving bowl and toss with dressing to combine.
  5. Top with the crispy chickpeas, fennel fronds, parmesan and lots of black pepper – I use a lot! 

Recipe Tips

  1. I usually use canola oil but any neutral oil will do it. 
  2. If you’re squeamish about using anchovies or anchovy paste simply substitute. I’ve used a tablespoon of capers or Worcestershire sauce when I haven’t had anchovy paste on hand.
  3. I buy my parmesan cheese from La Bottega Nicastro on George Street. They will take a fresh wedge and grate the whole thing for you – I keep a small jar in the fridge and the rest in the freezer to refill as needed. It is the best way to do it! 

I hope you enjoy! Please let me know if you make this take on Caesar salad in the comments below.


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