Who hasn’t ordered the chicken Caesar salad at The Olive Garden? Or pretty much any other restaurant, regardless of cuisine, over the years? Typically, it consists of romaine lettuce dripping with creamy “Caesar” dressing, with cold chicken on top, along with more Parmesan cheese and stale croutons.
This is my new spin on chicken Caesar salad, inspired by a recent Bon Appetit recipe. But instead of piling everything high on a smudged plate, the diner gets a unique salad-eating experience with a deconstructed restaurant staple.
The panko-Parmesan-crusted chicken is lovely along with the seared romaine flecked with garlic and minced anchovies. I love the whole seared-lettuce thing. Really changes the flavors.
I highly recommend adding this dish to your summer menu – a wonderful entree for dining al fresco, if you can.
Deconstructed Chicken Caesar Salad
- 4 7-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 1/2 ounces)
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped, divided
- 2 large hearts of romaine, halved lengthwise
- 4 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained, minced
- 1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges
Preheat oven to 450°. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Season chicken with salt and pepper; place on prepared sheet. Combine cheese, panko, 2 Tbsp. oil, parsley, and 1 garlic clove in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Pat panko mixture onto breasts. Roast chicken until crumbs begin to turn golden, about 10 minutes.
Drizzle romaine with 1 Tbsp. oil and sprinkle with remaining 1 chopped garlic clove and anchovies. Season with salt and pepper. Remove sheet from oven; place romaine around chicken.
Roast until chicken is cooked through and lettuce is browned at edges, about 5 minutes (mine was even less).
Divide among plates. Garnish with lemon wedges for squeezing over.
Doesn’t that look yummy? Also good as sack-lunch leftovers – just reheat the chicken and serve with the cold romaine and squeeze a lemon wedge over.
Enjoy, friends! xoxo
Green goddess dressing combines every delicious dressing flavor into one creamy sauce. I made this last month for my birthday party – served with a bunch of fresh vegetables for dipping. However, it really should be treated like a salad dressing, not a dip – served over hearty greens such as spinach, romaine or bibb lettuce.
It’s like a caesar dressing with the addition of basil – amazing. Scallions, anchovies, lemon garlic – your guests will at first be concerned for the state of their breath, but then forget all that once they taste it. I had numerous people ask, “What is IN that?”
Once basil is in season again, I will definitely keep this as a refrigerator staple for my summer salads, fresh tomatoes and cucumbers.
Here, I just drizzled it over veggies.
Green Goddess Dressing with Basil
Ingredients (makes roughly 2 cups):
- 1 cup good mayonnaise
- 1 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts (6 to 7 scallions)
- 1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
- 2 teaspoons chopped garlic (2 cloves)
- 2 teaspoons anchovy paste or equivalent anchovy fillets
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup sour cream
Add everything except the sour cream to a blender and process until smooth. Add sour cream and blend completely.
Serve with your favorite veggies or drizzle over salad – you will not believe how robust the flavors are. And don’t worry about the anchovies, they are hidden among the other ingredients so as to not overpower.
Enjoy, friends! xoxo