Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Caesar on the Light Side (gasp!)

Confession: I'm not a fan of "light" recipes. My approach to food is whole ingredients all the way, with a balanced approach to meals. Unpronounceable ingredients - especially those labeled "light" - are a big turnoff for me. I shop whole, and that's how I cook. I go through olive oil like a madwoman, and I eat healthy enough that when it's time for cheese and butter, there's no way I'm using anything but the real deal. That's just me. But that's also why this recipe might seem like a puzzle to some of you. Embracing contradictions... it's what I do over here.

Allow me to introduce Jamie Oliver's "Caesar on the Light Side." You might remember that when I make real-deal Caesar dressing, I love it so much I want to eat it plain with croutons and a glass of wine. I do the very same thing with this recipe, no joke. Here's why I love this stuff: its base is Greek yogurt, not eggs, so all we're doing here is switching clean ingredients. (Read the back of a plain Greek yogurt container if you don't believe me... it's just one of the reasons this stuff rocks.) Because we're using yogurt instead of eggs, this stuff keeps in your fridge like a champ, without risk of scary things like salmonella. I also think the use of Worcestershire in this dressing is fun, but if Worcestershire's not for you, go with dijon mustard for a more traditional taste. All this, and the dressing still uses anchovies, like any good Caesar.

Side note for you preggos out there: Mary recently proclaimed on Twitter how much she missed real Caesar dressing when she was carrying her little girl, due to those pesky eggs. I wish I'd thought to pass this recipe along to her (and to many of you) long ago. So if any of you are in the same boat, this is your Caesar dressing. And for those of you who are not: it works realllly well as a dunking vehicle for croutons, just like your old stand-by. Promise.

Caesar On The Light Side
Adapted from Jamie Oliver

1/3 cup low-fat or nonfat Greek-style yogurt
2 anchovy fillets, mashed
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large head of romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces

  • In a small bowl, whisk the yogurt with the anchovies, garlic, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Whisk in the oil and half of the cheese and season with salt and pepper.
  • In a large bowl, toss the romaine with half the dressing and the remaining cheese. Serve, passing the remaining dressing at the table.

PS: Jamie Oliver's Simplest Chicken and Leek Stew is also a favorite around here. It's a bowl full of comfort, perfect for rainy days and the sniffles.


  1. Yum! Thanks for sharing. I am defo making this.

  2. i'm not totally sure what this says about me, but i find this totally thrilling. i LOVE homemade ceasar and i can't wait to try this version.

  3. Low (or zero) fat Greek yogurt is about the only low fat ingredient I let into my fridge now. I have to buy my own cream cheese in Austin b/c my mother refuses to give up the low-fat-Philly ghost!

  4. I couldn't agree more with your philosophy about cooking with whole ingredients, not bastardizing recipes with artificial ingredients etc.

    What I love about this recipe is that the substitutions are reasonable. It's not trying be be fat free calorie free. It's just leaning towards the full on caesar effect.

    Thanks for sharing, I'll give this a shot!

  5. Making this today for our Thanksgiving feast!


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