Chopped Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons and Grilled Lemon and Basil Shrimp

I really enjoy a good Caesar salad, especially when there is shrimp involved.

This is a great little Caesar dressing recipe.  I love how it doesn’t use a raw egg.  I’m always just a little freaked out when I have to use raw eggs, and I’m not sure that coddling your egg would make much of a difference in regards to making it safer to eat.

This is very important.  Use a fresh, good quality Parmesan cheese.  I  have found that the Parmesan cheese found at Costco is a great deal and won’t break the budget.

In a food processor or blender blend together all of your dressing ingredients.

Can you believe how easy this just was to make your own Caesar dressing? 

Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.  It also keeps in your refrigerator for several days.

Well, since we are going to all the trouble of making a fabulous Caesar salad, we just have to make our own croutons.

This is very easy, too.  Just make sure you use the right kind of bread.  I find that using the ciabatta bread makes for a nice and light crouton.  Yummy.

Cube your bread into bite sized pieces.

On a foil lined baking sheet place the bread and lightly drizzle with olive oil.

Toss the bread around to coat the bread evenly.  Now sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place the croutons in a pre-heated 375 degree oven.  Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until lightly golden.  Just make sure that you stir them around about  half way through the baking process.

Set aside until ready to use.

Now for the delicious shrimp.

Oh, how I adore grilled shrimp.

In a small bowl whisk together the marinade for the shrimp.  Place the shrimp in a zip-lock bag.  I lightly salt and peppered my shrimp before putting the marinade over it.

Let it marinate for about 30 minutes.  Any longer and the lemon juice will start “cooking” the shrimp.

Thread your shrimp onto skewers.

While the grill is heating, chop your romaine lettuce.  Discard the leafy green ends.  We just want the crunchy hearts for this salad.

Once the grill is ready for your shrimp be sure to lightly spray the shrimp with cooking spray, we don’t want them to stick to the grill.

Yum, look how delicious the shrimp is.  It just has a nice light flavor that pairs so nicely with the Caesar dressing.

Toss the lettuce with a few tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan and the Caesar dressing.

Divide equally among 4 plates, top with croutons and grilled shrimp.

Enjoy this tasty little salad.

Easy Caesar Dressing
From Bon Appetit/October 1991
Makes 1 cup

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces) plus a little more to toss with salad
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup extra light olive oil (not light in calories, but light in flavor)
(NOTE:  For a more robust dressing use all regular olive oil)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 large garlic cloves
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons anchovy paste
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Can be prepared 2 days ahead.  Cover and refrigerate.

Cut one ciabatta sandwich bread into bite-sized cubes
Olive oil for drizzling
Salt and Pepper

Place the cubed bread on a foil lined baking sheet.  Lightly drizzle olive oil onto bread, tossing to coat evenly.  Sprinkle with salt and freshy ground pepper.  Bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until just lighty toasted.  Stir the croutons half way through baking process.  Set aside.

Grilled Lemon-Basil Shrimp:
1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined
juice of 1/2 large lemon (about 2 – 3 tablespoons)
4 large fresh basil leaves, chopped or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl combine the lemon juice, basil, crushed red pepper, garlic cloves, olive oil and salt and pepper.  Whisk well to blend.

Place the shrimp in a large zip-lock plastic bag.  Lightly salt and pepper the shrimp.  Cover the shrimp with the marinade.  Allow to marinate for about 30 minutes.

Skewer the shrimp and pre-heat grill to medium heat.  Lightly spray the shrimp with an olive oil cooking spray.  Grill the shrimp for about 1 1/2 minutes per each side, or until pink and firm. 

Remove from grill, remove tails.  Toss into salad.

Putting it all together:
Chop about three heads of romaine lettuce, leaving behind the leafy green ends.  Place in a large bowl.  Toss greens with desired amount of Caesar dressing, a few tablespoons or so of freshly shredded Parmesan cheese and croutons.  Equally divide among 4 plates.  Top salad with shrimp and some shavings of Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4.


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  1. Pingback: Chopped Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons and Grilled Lemon and … | ClubEvoo

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