Grilled Caesar Salad with Roasted Garlic-Salted Pepitas


The poetic last words spoken by Julius Caesar as he was attacked by a group of senators including his very close friend, Marcus Junius Brutus.

The phrase, “Et tu, Brute,” was immortalized by William Shakespeare’s, Julius Caesar, and is a phrase still used widely today when referring to an event of betrayal.

Of course it is debated if these words were in fact Caesar’s last, but for dramatic effect, let’s say they were.

As the Ides of March are upon us today, I was compelled to make Grilled Caesar Salad with Roasted Garlic-Salted Pepitas.  If you don’t understand the connection between the Ides of March and Julius Caesar, ummm…you need to read Julius Caesar.  Let’s leave it at that.

Now, as far as Caesar Salad is concerned, it has nothing to do with Julius Caesar, however I do think of him everytime I eat it.  Is that enough of a connection?

I make this particular Caesar dressing without coddled eggs because I know it freaks some people out (not me).  However, grilling the lettuce, making its outer leaves warm, might also freak out some people (again, not me).  Adding the pepitas gives the salad a contrasting crunch.  And don’t even say you dislike anchovies if you have never tried them…they are AWESOME. 

The Wild Boar has always felt this is the ugliest salad I make but then proceeds to lick his plate clean.  Yep, ugly food is always good food.  Not everything can be pretty.

Let’s grill this up…

Here’s what you will need:  Hearts of romaine, extra-virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, dry mustard, hot pepper sauce, garlic, fresh lemon juice, black pepper, anchovies, raw  pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and garlic salt.

In a small bowl, combine 2/3 cup pepitas, 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil and 1 teaspoon garlic salt.  Mix until pepitas are completely coated with oil and salt.  Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake in a 375 degree oven for 5-8 minutes, or until slightly brown.  Watch them closely or they might burn.  Set aside.

In a bowl combine anchovies, 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons dry mustard, garlic, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce and 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice.  Transfer to a blender and begin blending while gradually adding 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil.  Adjust seasoning to taste.

Slice hearts of romaine lettuce in half lengthwise and brush them with some of the Caesar Dressing. 

Place lettuce halves face down on a heated grill pan or grill for about 1-2 minutes, or until lettuce is golden and slightly wilted.

Remove from grill and arrange face up on a plate.  Drizzle more dressing over lettuce.

Sprinkle with pepitas.

Serve with a knife and fork…it’s so good.

Grilled Caesar Salad with Roasted Garlic-Salted Pepitas

3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 (2 ounce) can anchovies, drained
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus 2 teaspoons, divided
2/3 cup raw pepitas
1 teaspoon garlic salt
4 hearts of romaine lettuce

In a small bowl, combine pepitas, 2 teaspoons olive oil and garlic salt.  Mix until pepitas are completely coated with oil and salt.  Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake in a 375 degree oven for 5-8 minutes, or until slightly brown.  Watch them closely or they might burn.  Set aside.

In a bowl combine anchovies, Dijon mustard, dry mustard, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, red wine vinegar, black pepper, hot pepper sauce and lemon juice.  Transfer to a blender and begin blending while gradually adding remaining 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil.  Adjust seasoning to taste.

Slice hearts of romaine lettuce in half lengthwise and brush them with some of the Caesar Dressing. 

Place lettuce halves face down on a heated grill pan or grill for about 1-2 minutes, or until lettuce is golden and slightly wilted.

Remove from grill and arrange face up on a plate.  Drizzle more dressing over lettuce.  Sprinkle with pepitas.

What I Was Cooking Up One Year Ago Today:  I Interrupt These Easter Recipes to Bring You Something From The Emerald Isle…Part 2 of a 2 Part Episode

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58 Comments

  1. Hilary 1

    That looks delicious .. & I have salad every day for lunch .. so I’ll give your Caesar dressing a go .. & get some pumkin seeds ..

    Thanks Cathy .. your layout is really good & easy to follow –
    Hilary: Be Positive Be Happy

    Reply
  2. You’re right, this is an ugly salad, but I can tell it is yummy!And probably even healthy for me too.

    Reply
  3. katie 4

    March is flying by me so quickly I can’t hardly believe it. At least I didn’t miss St. Patty’s Day, maybe I’ll even make a corned beef!
    Love the addition of pepitas to your caesar. I have a anchovy paste in my fridge I have just been too afraid to use it!

    Reply
  4. Debi 5

    Grilling the romaine adds a whole new dimension to the salad. Toasted pepitas matched with the saltiness of the anchovies…mmm!

    Reply
  5. A perfect recipe for today! Ii think we should all have a Caesar salad on the Ides of March!

    Reply
  6. I’ve never tried grilling lettuce for a salad but if you photos are an indication, it is tasty and beautiful.

    Reply
  7. You’ve got all the things I love in that salad. Maybe it could be called “brutto ma buono.”

    Reply
  8. LOL…you are so very right. Ugly food is the BEST food.

    Hmmmm, might have to make this with some steamed shrimp tonight. I am really feeling it.

    Reply
  9. I love this one! It’s a great change from the traditional Caesar Salad. And for the record, I love the eggs in traditional dressing and I ask for extra anchovies on top of the salad. Freaks my husband out!

    Reply
  10. Dang.. all this time I thought he said ‘Whatup Willis?” (just kiddin’)…

    Love Caesar Salad… Too bad our grill is still under wraps in the garage for the Winter!!!

    Lucky Californians!

    Reply
  11. Laura 12

    Yum…love Caesar salad.
    When I saw the post title, I thought for sure it was going to be about twisted fence guy.
    Glad to know that peace and love abounds on the old vineyard…no news is good news?

    Reply
  12. Cheryl 13

    Hand to heaven, I was thinking the same post title for today! 😉
    Great minds… 😉

    Have a great Ides!

    Reply
  13. Marcy 14

    he’s right, those r pretty ugly, but they also look amazingly tasty!

    Reply
  14. There is no way my Captain would even attempt to eat this.
    He’s picky that way. If it don’t look appteizing, he won’t try it.

    Reply
  15. kayola 16

    You find the MOST INTERESTING recipe’s…AMAZING you are!

    Reply
  16. You’ve been working hard lately. THIS dish is so me..So inventive and healthy and delicious looking. I’m really impressed with this one.

    Reply
  17. Barbie with a T 18

    I must try this one!!! All of my favorite ingredients and on the grill.
    I think it is beautiful….not ugly at all! Thanks. I could not imagine this salad without the photos. They truly are worth 1000 words.

    Reply
  18. I tried to make a grilled caesar salad not too long ago, and my lettuce got totally wet and wilted. I think I just grilled it too long. Love the little pepitas in this – so unique!

    Reply
  19. dawn 20

    OMG this is so appetizing. Ugly, no way. Anything with browned edges is perfect in my book. What a great recipe, especially with the pepitas. I know what’s for dinner with steak tonight!

    Reply
  20. Melynda 21

    I would like this, maybe for March Sunday Cafe. thanks.

    Reply
  21. Oooh! I am SO making this!! It’s only 9am here and my mouth was watering just looking at the pics. Thank you! : )

    Reply
  22. I’ve never thought “ugly” about a salad although I always tend to notice when they’re pretty!
    This one’s pretty in my book!

    Reply
  23. imom 24

    I would love this salad to pass my lips… Unfortunately I wouldn’t get it past my husband’s lips!

    Reply
  24. I’ve had grilled salad before and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. I too would lick my plate clean after eating this salad.

    Reply
  25. annbb 26

    That definitely does not look low cal.
    That definitely looks like something I have to make.
    That definitely means it’s ~to hell with the diet~!

    Reply
  26. Maureen 27

    Mmmmm…I love a grilled romaine salad, and your’s looks magnificent! I might try it tonight!

    Reply
  27. Mary 28

    Why not grilled romaine. This looks and, I’m sure, tastes delicious. I grill bok choy and am very happy with the results.

    Reply
  28. Grilling the salad adds a whole new dimension I have never thought of Cathy:D

    Reply
  29. Liz C. 30

    Oh Baby! Now, this is right up my alley! Mr. Snoots makes Caesar every Sunday night, but I may have to give him the night off so I can make this for him. He will love it! And of course, the pictures are to die for, as usual. I give this one 5 stars!

    Reply
  30. dawn 31

    Hmmm that does sound good. and pepitas are really good for you too. I bet the dressing just tastes so much better warmed up and caramelized like that.

    Reply
  31. Elyse 32

    Great literary reference!! Man, this Caesar looks delicious. I’ve never actually made one before, but you’ve totally inspired me!

    Reply
  32. For people who are freaked by anchovies, I recommend anchovy paste. It comes in a tube, and you just squeeze out little bits when you need them. Very easy!

    Reply
  33. Beautiful post. I would have loved this salad. Great presentation.

    Reply
  34. Marjie 35

    Ugly food is generally good food. Ever wonder why I don’t post more pictures? It just isn’t that picturesque. For that, we’d all need those magazine food arrangers, then our food would get cold and not be good. It’s a vicious cycle.

    Reply
  35. Lisa 36

    Seriously, the best idea for a Caesar I have seen yet!

    This is going on the menu.

    Reply
  36. You made me laugh. Yes I share desert. Do not however touch my filet, that was cooked perfectly. The funny thing is I am the one with the big behind. However I do hope to know you when you are my age and see if have not “grown” more alike. Maybe by then you also will share desert.
    This salad looks delicious of course. So what of the Noble Pig Eatery at the Winery? Well?

    Reply
  37. Caesar salad is one of my absolute favorites, but I’ve never had a grilled version before. With pepitas, no less. I want to try this soon. Maybe for a girlfriends’ dinner. My man also would probably not eat this, but don’t take offense, he rarely eats salad.

    Thanks,
    Shirley

    Reply
  38. That is funny, I was going to make a Caesar salad for dinner tonight too. Hmmm, may have to grill it. (I do coddle my eggs).
    I’m not sure I have any pepitas in the house, but will find something!

    Reply
  39. This looks delicious. Can’t wait to try it.

    Reply
  40. I used to despise caesar salad until I had one made with the traditional vinaigrette instead of the awful chunky creamy restaurant-style dressing that hides in clumps between pieces of lettuce to give you a cholesterol shocker every 4th or 5th bite. Yeeech.

    I was a total convert with the first vinaigrette caesar I ate – SO GOOD. Garlicky, salty, lemony, oooh baby.

    I think that this salad looks GORGEOUS, and so creative!! Grilled lettuce is the bees knees, and the pumpkin seeds would be such a wonderful textural addition. So….would you judge me if I still sprinkled some bacon on top?

    Reply
  41. Lisa 42

    That looks fantastic. I can’t wait to give it a try. Also, if you’re afraid of anchovies, try anchovy paste.

    Reply
  42. maris 43

    Truthfully I’m not in love with warm lettuce but that picture is amazing!

    Reply
  43. I love the idea of adding pepitas to the Ceasar salad! Delicious!

    Reply
  44. Louise 45

    Perfect twist on a classic. (ha … pun intended) Of course, the anchovies are a must!

    Reply
  45. Mmm I love pumpkin seeds! What an interesting creation!

    Reply
  46. Laurie 47

    I’ve never tried grilled romaine, but it sure looks good. I don’t think it is ugly at all.

    Your anchovy comment cracked me up. The first time I had a Caesar salad was when I was in the early stages of my first pregnancy. You can imagine how that went over! I avoided anchovies for years afterwords.

    Reply
  47. Krista 48

    Wow! This looks amazing! I need to try this soon.

    Reply
  48. bren 49

    i used to love Ceasar’s salad and somehow this one here has interested me again after about 6 years of not touching it… love the pumpkin seeds. so sessy!

    Reply
  49. Lori 50

    I love grilled lettuce like that!

    Reply
  50. Nice salad, and I love that it is grilled, adds so much flavor! I was so bumbed that Pi day and the Ides of March were over the weekend, it kinda killed all the fun things I could have done with my students. It was also Einstein’s birthday too. Oh well, next year!

    Reply
  51. Griling the lettuce! What a great idea!!

    Reply
  52. grace 53

    those little pepitas are key! truly, i can see myself moving right past the salad and just popping pepitas like candy. :)

    Reply
  53. Egghead 54

    Cathy this looks great. I have romaine lettuce sitting in my fridge begging to be used up. I love this.

    Reply
  54. Yum! That looks great!

    Reply
  55. Grilled lettuce – I bet Caesar never saw that comin’ either! :)

    Reply
  56. Melissa 57

    Dizzam. Yeah. That about covers my thoughts.

    Beware the Ides of March!

    Reply
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