Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken

Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken

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Caesar Salad is the creation of Italian restaurateur (Mexico and USA) Caesar Cardini who invented the dish at his Tijuana restaurant after running short of supplies during the fourth of July holiday in 1924. Making do with what ingredients remained Cardini a showman began tossing a salad tableside with great flair. Originally named “Aviator Salad” for the aviators who traveled to Tijuana during prohibition. Today a poster remains in the Hotel Caesar declaring "Home of the legendary Caesar's Salad".

In the 1920’s while still in grammar school Julia Child claimed that she had enjoyed a Caesar salad at Cardini’s restaurant. In 1946 columnist Dorothy Kilgallen wrote about a different version of Cardini’s Caesar salad with anchovies. In a 1952 interview, Cardini said the salad became well known, in 1937, when the story editor for Paramount Pictures gave the recipe to a Hollywood restaurant.

In the 1970s, Cardini's daughter said that the original recipe included whole lettuce leaves dressed with a sauce made of coddle eggs and fresh lime juice combined with garlic infused oil (no anchovies) lifted by the stem with fingers and eaten.

Caesar salad is an all-consuming dish that takes time to prepare but is well worth the effort. Lots of garlic raw or coddled egg yolks, anchovies, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, romaine lettuce, fresh grated parmesan cheese, croutons, and a good amount of black pepper. Today there are dozens of versions of Cardini’s original recipe including adding protein like sliced steak and chicken with a yogurt based dressing replacing the raw egg yolk.


Caesar Salad and Grilled Chicken

PREPARATION: 30 minutes – makes 4 serving

EQUIPMENT: 8 or 10-inch chef knife, cutting board, large sauté skillet, food cutter.

  • 2 chicken breasts, boned and skinned.
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste.
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 7 cloves garlic, minced.
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, #1 cutting cone.
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, rinsed, spun dry and cut into 1" (2.5 cm) wide strips
  • 1/2 red onion sliced very thin.
  • 1/2 red pepper, sliced very thin in rings


Preheat the large skillet over medium-high heat (375ᵒF). Add chicken breasts, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. When the chicken releases from the skillet easily, cover and cook an additional 5 minutes. Remove from pan, cool and slice.

For dressing blend together yogurt, anchovy paste, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. Place in refrigerator to cool.

To serve: In large bowl add cut romaine, red onion, red pepper and dressing. Toss well, top with sliced chicken, fresh cracked pepper and salt if desired.