I am a Caesar salad connoisseur. If they have it on the menu, I order it. You may remember my love of wedge salads.... They are both similar.
Each restaurant has their own way of making theirs.
But, my very favorite from top to bottom of the salad is the grilled Caesar at Rezaz, here in Biltmore Village.
Here's the recipe lineup: romaine hearts, chicken, OPA Caesar dressing, Parmesan cheese, homemade croutons (recipe at the bottom)
I am all about making your own dressing. However, recently my family and I have fallen in L-O-V-E with OPA's dressings. Their ranch is out of this world, and the Caesar is the closest to my all time favorite restaurant's recipe dressing. OPA dressing is made with greek yogurt, yielding the calorie count much lower than traditional dressings. Plus, you have the added benefit of extra protein from the greek yogurt.
Marinate your chicken over night in Caesar dressing. I made my chicken a month ago, when I made 30 freezer meals in a day. What a time saver for this working gal! I put about a quarter cup of the dressing plus a few swirls of olive oil to loosen the dressing up. Mushed it around in the bag, dropped the chicken in, and put it in the freezer.
Light your grill to a medium-high flame. Grill chicken 4-5 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of each chicken cutlet. Once chicken is cooked, place on cutting board or plate and cover loosely with foil.
Cut your romaine heads in half. Then, in half again. Drizzle olive oil over the top along with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Place on relatively hot grill, inside down first. Like so..
Now, this only takes a couple minutes at most. Grill both sides, then remove from grill. Place on your serving dish, and you are almost ready for dinner!
Slice your chicken, and place over romaine hearts. Top with shards of Parmesan cheese and the OPA dressing. It wouldn't be over the top to add a few bacon crumbles...
Top with a few homemade croutons, if you have any left from making these.
Dinner is done! That took maybe 20 minutes with the chicken marinaded ahead of time.
Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad
Head of Romaine Lettuce
1 pound of Chicken Breasts
OPA Caesar Dressing
Parmesan Cheese - the big chunk from the nice cheese section
(Bacon crumbles, fresh, please...)
Marinade your chicken over night in a mixture of 1/4 cup Caesar dressing and a few swirls of Olive oil.
Light grill flames to medium-high heat. Grill chicken 4-5 minutes per side. Take off grill, tent with foil, and let rest 6-8 minutes before slicing.
Cut romaine hearts in fourths. Drizzle olive oil over top and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill on each side 1-2 minutes.
Add grilled lettuce to serving platter. Top with sliced chicken, bacon crumbles, shards of Parmesan cheese, and OPA dressing. Finally, place a few croutons, and dinner is served!
French Baguette, cut into squares
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
2 Tbs. Butter
1 Tbs. Minced Garlic
1 Tbs. Minced Rosemary
Pinch of Salt & Pepper
Begin by cutting your bread into squares. Set on a half sheet pan and let sit out.
Preheat oven to 350˚.
Place cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and melt butter and oil together. Cook garlic and rosemary for a minute. Add bread squares, coat with oil and butter combo. Let the bread get a little brown and crispy on all sides, then dump onto half sheet pan.
Bake in oven for 6-8 minutes. Try your best not to devour these goodies straight from the oven.
Store in air tight container for a few days, if you have any left!