This keto Caesar salad is my new favourite thing. The Caesar salad is as famous as it gets, but I bet the majority of people who’ve eaten it had no idea that it was dreamt up as a last minute dish, in a busy restaurant, in the heart of Mexico. Almost a hundred years ago, on the fourth of July, a creative Italian restaurateur whipped up this delicious dish from a rather barren kitchen that had been hit hard by the hordes of humans out celebrating this national holiday. In doing so, he created one of the tastiest and most satisfying salads ever (check out my tiny version here!). So tasty in fact that I ended up making this keto Caesar salad for lunch about four days in a row!
I’ve tried to be pretty faithful to the original recipe as it is just wonderful, but I also sought inspiration from the queen of Mexican cooking, Thomasina Miers and her Wahaca cookbook which is awesome! (Here’s another beautiful Mexican dish too). For those interested in counting carbs, you might wonder is Caesar salad keto? Typically no, as you would have croutons on top. In my version to keep the Caesar salad carbs low, I skipped the croutons and added toasted pine nuts for a little bite. I think it works really well and means that the keto Caesar salad carbs check in at 5g per serving, happy days.
To be honest, Caesar salad is pretty much the perfect meal for anyone who’s following a keto or low carb diet, as in terms of nutrition it’s pretty much keto already and doesn’t need much adapting. This keto caesar dressing features more or less exactly the same ingredients are the original recipe and my word is it a tasty one! It’s packed with umami ingredients. Anchovies, parmesan, Worcestershire sauce, all of these are LOADED with umami, which means you could rename this keto Caesar dressing, the uber umami dressing! By serving it up with some perfectly cooked chicken, it makes for a really substantial paleo salad that will keep you feeling full for hours.
If you fancy mixing things up, you could swap out the chicken for some grilled salmon. Or with a few tweaks to the ingredients (vegan Worcestershire sauce & veggie hard cheese, no anchovies or chicken), make it an epic veggie salad by piling up sunblush tomatoes and grilled veg. Whatever you do with it, make plenty as it is a winner!
THE PERFECT KETO CAESAR SALAD
- 2 skinless chicken breasts (the best quality you can afford)
- 2 tbsp olive oil for cooking
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 clove garlic finely crushed
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 6 salted anchovies (sustainably caught) finely chopped
- 1 lime juice only
- 15 ml Worcestershire sauce
- 30 grams parmesan finely grate half then shave the remaining half with a peeler
- 1 large romaine lettuce (or 2 baby gems)
- 1 handful pine nuts (pop them in a dry pan and toast for a couple of minutes)
- 1 pinch black pepper
- Season the chicken breast liberally with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in frying pan over a medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add chicken breasts and cook for two minutes each side, then continue turning each minute until cooked through (approx. ten minutes)*. Add butter for the final couple of minutes of cooking and baste thoroughly.
- Whizz up the egg yolks, garlic, Dijon, anchovies and lime juice in a processor until you have a wet paste. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil in a steady stream until you have a very creamy dressing. Next, add Worcestershire sauce, grated parmesan and a good grind of black pepper, then blend until thick and creamy. Loosen with a splash of water if itseems overly thick.
- Cut off the base of the lettuce to separate the leaves. Wash leaves and dry thoroughly. In a large bowl toss the lettuce leaves in the dressing, then carefully arrange on two plates. Top each plate with the toasted pine nuts, the shaved parmesan and freshly sliced chicken breast. Serve.