With this smoked salmon Caesar salad I have kept elements of the traditional salad, but made it easier to prepare, and less rich and creamy – but it is by no means a boring salad!
Caesar salad is traditionally made from romaine lettuce, croutons, parmesan all mixed in creamy dressing made from garlic, Dijon mustard, lemon, juice Worcester sauce, raw eggs and olive oil. Delicious, but a little too rich and heavy for me. So I gave it some tweaks to make it healthier but by no means less special.
The smoked salmon adds a little luxurious touch, making it a great option for a light and healthy Valentine’s Day meal (lunch or dinner). It also makes a perfect light summer dinner party dish. Plus I think it looks like you have made a lot of effort when in fact it is very easy to make, and you prepare the dressing and croutons ahead of time meaning it is a quick assembly job before serving!
This Caesar salad is made without anchovies – as although I do like their saltiness, they can be overpowering. (It said that in the very original version of the salad there weren’t any anchovies, just a hint of them from Worcester Sauce). So instead, the fish element in my salad comes from the smoked salmon. If you want a vegetarian salad you can easily leave out the smoked salmon. I often make it without the smoked salmon when I want a fresh lunch that is a little less luxurious.
How I made it a healthier version of Caesar salad:
The crispy lettuce – use romaine or cos, salty parmesan and olive oil, remain the same. However I have added some freshness from the herbs; and rather than egg in the dressing, used vinegar. I am not a fan of pungent raw garlic, so have instead brushed the croutons with it to keep that garlic flavour in the salad.
The avocado in the salad adds a creamy richness, and the salty capers a sharp burst of vinegar.
The Caesar Salad Vinaigrette:
Olive oil, vinegar, mustard, herbs and capers make a fragrant dressing with sharp pops from the capers. Adding fresh herbs really makes a difference to a vinaigrette! If you don’t have dill, use basil or parsley.
If you are wondering what to do with the leftover capers, this Puttanesca pasta salad is a simple meat free meal that can easily be made ahead of time.
Make it your Caesar Salad:
Gluten free: use gluten free bread and check your mustard is gluten free
Vegetarian salad: leave out the smoked salmon.
Add a little extra: add a quartered/halved boiled egg to the salad
If you are looking for more easy & healthy salad ideas why not have a look at my Orange & Carrot Salad with Feta , this plant based Indian Spiced Chickpea Salad, or this really simple and refreshing Watermelon & Mozzarella Salad
Smoked Salmon Caesar Salad
- 2 slices bread - ideally crusty bread
- 1 dsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ cos lettuce
- ½ avocado sliced or cubed
- 10 cm cucumber sliced
- 100 g smoked salmon
- 30 g parmesan shaved with a vegetable peeler
- 1 tsp black sesame seeds optional
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 dsp chives finely chopped
- 1 dsp dill finely chopped
- 1 tsp capers
- Whisk the dressing ingredients together until well combined, then place to one side.
- Heat the grill to high.
- Drizzle ½ dsp olive oil over the slices of bread, then rub with the garlic. Place under the grill until golden, then turn and repeat the other side. Cut into squares (or hearts!)
- Lay the lettuce leaves out onto a serving platter, or 2 plates, then place the avocado, cucumber and smoked salmon on top. Sprinkle over the parmesan shavings, the croutons, and black sesame seeds, if using.
- Pour the dressing over the smoked salmon caesar salad just before serving.