A fresh healthier take on a classic salad, this modern day Caesar salad features crispy chickpeas, fresh cherry tomatoes, soft-boiled eggs, anchovy breadcrumbs, chives, and a lemon parmesan yogurt dressing.
Modern Day Caesar Salad
- 14 ounces canned chickpeas rinsed, drained, and patted dry
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
Lemon parmesan yogurt dressing
- ½ cup Greek yogurt plain
- ¼ cup grated parmesan
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 anchovy filets
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- 2 romaine hearts chopped
- 2 soft boiled eggs halved
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 small cucumber sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- ¼ cup shaved parmesan
- freshly cracked black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Toss chickpeas with olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Spread chickpeas on a baking sheet and bake in oven for 20-25 minutes or until browned and crispy. Remove from oven and let cool.
- Meanwhile, make salad dressing. Blend together all ingredients including yogurt, parmesan, oil, lemon juice, Worcestershire, mustard, and garlic until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Make anchovy breadcrumbs. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small saute pan over medium heat. Add anchovies and cook until anchovies have melted away. Add breadcrumbs, stirring to coat in the oil. Continue to cook until breadcrumbs are browned, about 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and lay breadcrumbs on parchment paper. Let cool completely.
- Assemble salads. Divide chopped romaine onto 2 plates and top with crispy chickpeas, boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber. Sprinkle chopped chives, anchovy breadcrumbs, and shaved parmesan on top. Finish with freshly cracked black pepper and serve with dressing.
Watch how to make this:
Almost every Monday morning, I crave a salad for lunch. I usually indulge on the weekend so come the new week, I want something fresh. I know salads have a reputation for being boring, but when you create an amazing combination of flavors and textures, it's anything but. Inspired by the classic Caesar salad, I decided to make a healthier version with more substance. Through in some jammy eggs, anchovy breadcrumbs, crispy chickpeas, and a lemon parmesan yogurt dressing and you have a delicious modern day Caesar salad. If I'm being completely honest, I think it's even better than the original.
In my opinion, Caesar salad is one of those salads that tricks you into being a healthy meal. But really, it's just bread, cheese, and mayonnaise thrown together with some lettuce. Not exactly healthy. So I decided to make a version that's easier on the waistline. Yes, there's still cheese involved and some form of bread, but there's also extra protein and vegetables. It's all about balance, right?
- Chickpeas: To add extra protein to the salad, we're incorporating crispy chickpeas.
- Romaine lettuce: To keep it similar to a Caesar salad, we're using romaine lettuce for the base. You can use any other type of leafy green if you prefer.
- Greek yogurt: Instead of mayonnaise for the salad dressing, this recipe uses yogurt for a healthier substitution.
- Anchovies: Instead of adding anchovies to the salad dressing, we're adding them to the breadcrumbs, adding umami and salt.
- Breadcrumbs: We're swapping out croutons from the original salad for breadcrumbs instead. I used panko for more texture but you can use regular breadcrumbs as well.
- Parmesan: Used in both the salad dressing and in the salad itself to add more umami.
- Cherry tomatoes: Fresh cherry tomatoes add sweetness to the salad and balance the rich parmesan.
- Cucumber: Fresh cucumber adds a crunchy texture and freshness.
- Soft-boiled eggs: For an added layer of creaminess, soft-boiled eggs are added to the salad. However, you can cook the eggs to your preferred desired degree of doneness.
How to Make Modern Day Caesar Salad
Step 1: Bake Chickpeas
Let's start by making crispy chickpeas. Ever since I started adding crispy chickpeas to my salads years ago, I can't stop. They add a lovely crunch and really, are just so addicting! Plus, they're incredibly easy to make.
First, rinse and drain the canned chickpeas. Then, pat them dry with clean towels. It's important that they're properly dried or else they won't crisp up.
Toss the chickpeas with olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Spread them in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast them in the oven until browned and crispy. You can also use an air fryer.
Step 2: Prepare the Remaining Toppings
While the chickpeas are roasting, make the anchovy breadcrumbs. I know there are a lot of people who don't like anchovies, but here's the secret. Anchovies add a ton of umami flavor without the overwhelming fishy taste. It's really an incredible flavor source if you ask me.
To make the breadcrumbs, first, heat the anchovies in a saute pan. As the anchovies cook, they'll melt away in the oil. Pretty amazing, right?
Add the breadcrumbs, toss them to coat in that gorgeous oil, and toast until browned. You can prepare the breadcrumbs up to a week in advance.
Now for the dressing. To make a lighter dressing, I decided to use Greek yogurt for the base. Blend together the yogurt with grated parmesan, lemon juice, olive oil, Worcestershire, garlic, and Dijon mustard until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and set aside until ready to serve.
Step 3: Putting it All Together
Assemble the modern day Caesar salads with romaine lettuce, sliced cucumber, halved cherry tomatoes, chickpeas, shaved parmesan, and jammy eggs. Sprinkle chopped chives, anchovy breadcrumbs, and freshly cracked black pepper on top and serve with the lemon parmesan yogurt dressing.
I gotta tell you, I wolfed down my entire plate in a matter of minutes. I absolutely loved everything about this salad from the juicy tomatoes to the fresh cucumbers to the crispy chickpeas and savory breadcrumbs. It still reminded me of a Caesar salad but with more flavor - just what I wanted!
Can I skip the anchovies in the breadcrumbs?
Yes, of course. If you're not a fan of anchovies, you can omit them and make regular breadcrumbs. You can also season them with freshly grated black pepper for black pepper breadcrumbs.
How do I cook soft-boiled eggs?
Here's how I do it: bring a medium pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Carefully add the eggs to the water with a spoon, making sure not to crack the shell. Continue to boil for 6 minutes. Remove the eggs from the water using a slotted spoon and immediately place them in an ice bath. Let them sit until cooled, then peel the eggs and cut them in half.
What proteins can I add to this salad?
Grilled or roasted chicken, shrimp, salmon, and steak would all go great with this dish.
For more salad inspiration check out this ultimate fattoush salad recipe!