Every home chef needs a good caesar salad recipe! This Roasted Garlic Caesar Salad is full of leafy kale and romaine, crispy bacon, garlicky homemade croutons and sharp parmesan cheese all tossed in a tangy roasted garlic caesar dressing.
The idea for this recipe came about during a team brainstorm for new summer salad recipes. I love adding a new salad to our regular rotation to accompany a BBQ dinner, and knew something like a garlicky caesar would be a crowd pleaser. Using heartier and healthy ingredients like kale and making a homemade dressing from scratch makes a world of difference.
What is a Caesar Salad
We’ve all had a Caesar salad, right? It is traditionally a romaine lettuce-based salad, with croutons tossed in a creamy dressing made from an emulsion of eggs, olive oil, lemon, Parmesan, Worcestershire sauce, and anchovies. Is this the most iconic salad of all time? Probably. We’re here to change it up, just a bit.
Homemade Caesar Dressing
As always, you can OF COURSE use store-bought dressing here but I find that they pale in comparison to the homemade counterpart. Unlike authentic Caesar dressings which are thickened with raw eggs, this recipe uses mayo as a base.
Your food processor is the best tool for the job to blend the roasted garlic with the other ingredients, adding an earthy, rich dimension to this dressing. The tang from the lemon juice is my favourite part, and keeps this recipe bright and fresh, compared to heavy store-bought versions.
Best Homemade Caesar Salad
Here are my top tips for the best homemade caesar salad:
- Add half kale to the romaine base: Although you won’t find kale in a classic caesar salad, it brings a welcomed added crunch, heartiness and nutritional punch. We go through a LOT of kale in our home: I highly recommend keeping it on hand at all times.
- Make homemade croutons: They are leaps and bounds better than the tiny (and often stale) store-bought ones! Full recipe is HERE.
- Splurge on quality parmesan: Freshly grated parmesan…..is essential. That powdered parmesan cheese? No thank you!
- Skip the store-bought dressings: Homemade is king, one taste and you’ll see why.
If you make this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #fraicheliving or leave a comment/rating below. I would love to know how you liked it!
Roasted Garlic Caesar Salad
Roasted Garlic Caesar Salad
For the Dressing
- 2 heads of garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup olive oil plus extra for the roasted garlic
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3 anchovy filets packed in oil, drained
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese and more to garnish
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- pinch of sugar
For the Salad
- 1 bunch roughly chopped kale stems removed,
- 2 hearts roughly chopped romaine lettuce
- croutons for garnish
Roast the Garlic
Preheat the oven to 300 F, remove the excess papery skins off of the heads of garlic (keep the heads intact), and prepare 2 pieces of aluminum foil big enough to wrap each head. Keeping the garlic head intact, cut the top (about 1/4″) off of each garlic head to just expose the cloves of garlic. Place each head of garlic on the aluminum foil, drizzle each with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and wrap the garlic tightly in the aluminium foil. Bake for 1 hour, seam-side up.
Cook the Bacon
Once the garlic is done, remove from oven and set aside. Turn the heat up to 400 F and place the bacon on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until crispy. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Cool and roughly chop the bacon.
Make the Dressing
Combine the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, anchovy fillets, and a ¼ cup of grated parmesan cheese in a food processor or blender. Squeeze all of the roasted garlic out of the skins into the food processor or blender and blend to combine. With the processor or blender running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Season with the sugar and salt and pepper to taste.
Assemble the Salad
When ready to eat, place the chopped kale and romaine into a large bowl and toss in the bacon and croutons. Toss with the dressing, garnish with extra parmesan and serve!