Classic Caesar Salad with Lemon Pepper Grilled Shrimp – Zenwise Classic Caesar Salad with Lemon Pepper Grilled Shrimp – Zenwise
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Healthy foods

Classic Caesar Salad with Lemon Pepper Grilled Shrimp

Here’s a primer for making a proper Caesar Salad … and transforming it into a delicious, healthy meal that will impress your dinner guests!

According to legend, Caesar salad was created by Caesar Cardini at his restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico when he was short on ingredients and needed to produce a quick appetizer for guests. Other stories credit Caesar's brother Alex as the real creator. No matter who the real inventor was, the salad quickly developed a fan base and is still popular decades later.


Creating The Classic

Using the crunchy pale green inner leaves found in romaine hearts is key to creating a proper Caesar salad. Chop or tear the romaine leaves, then gently toss them in the home traditional Caesar dressing.

Taking the time to make your own croutons [don’t worry—it’s easy!] goes a long way towards making this salad even more satisfying.  A potato peeler makes easy work of shaving Parmesan cheese on the salad.

Serve the salad as is or top with Lemon Pepper Grilled Shrimp for a meal that looks and tastes very gourmet but is really so quick and easy to prepare!


Why We Love These Ingredients

Romaine lettuce, in addition to being a great source of gut-healthy fiber, is rich in calcium as well as Vitamins A, C and K. These nutrients boost immune health, protect your bones, support healthy vision, and promote healthy blood clotting.

Anchovies may be small but they pack a punch when it comes to omega 3 fatty acids. One 2-ounce can of anchovies provides more Omega 3 EPA and DHA than the same amount of salmon.

Research shows Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for heart, brain, and memory health. They also reduce inflammation and support flexible joints.

Did you know that a 100-gram serving of cooked shrimp [about 6 large shrimp] contains about 24 grams of protein? As you know, protein helps repair tissue and build lean muscle.   

Shrimp also contains astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant that boosts immune health, reduces inflammation, and protects your vision. Astaxanthin is also one of the few nutrients with the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier.  That means it directly supports your memory and cognition.

Since Astaxanthin accumulates in the layers of your skin, studies show it can help protect against UV rays and may even prevent wrinkles and sun-damage!


Some Pro Tips To Get You Started

When sautéing shrimp on the stovetop, use a large skillet that allows the shrimp to cook in one layer without overlapping. The biggest challenge in cooking shrimp is determining when they’re done. Undercook and they’ll be mushy and translucent; overcook and they’ll be rubbery and tough. You’ll know the shrimp is ready when it starts to curl and turn opaque and slightly pink—about 2 to 2-1/2 minutes per side.

For the dressing, avoid using Extra Virgin olive oil as it will overpower the taste of the ingredients. Use a lighter or neutral-tasting oil [such as grapeseed, corn, or light olive oil].

If you don’t want [or don’t like] anchovies in your dressing, anchovy paste is a great substitute. You get the salty from-the-sea flavor without the fishy taste or texture. One anchovy fillet equals ½ teaspoon of anchovy paste;  you can add less or more paste according to your taste.

Ready? Let’s do this!


Caesar Salad with Lemon Pepper Grilled Shrimp

Lemon Pepper Grilled Shrimp

  • 1 pound large shrimp (20 to 24 per pound), peeled and deveined
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon [about 2 tablespoons]
  • 1 tsp lemon zest.
  1. Rinse shrimp under cold water. Remove shells [if applicable]. Pat dry with a paper towel.
  2. Zest lemon and cut in half.
  3. In a bowl, Toss shrimp with olive oil, salt, and pepper until coated.
  4. Heat pan over medium-high heat. Grill shrimp until cooked through, about 2 to 2-1/2 minutes per side.
  5. Transfer shrimp to a plate.  Drizzle with the lemon juice and garnish with lemon zest. Serve on top of Caesar Salad.


Garlic Croutons

  • 1/2 French Baguette or Italian bread, diced in ½” pieces
  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 TBSP butter, melted
  • 1-1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 TBSP grated parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Dice the bread slices into ½” thick pieces and place on a baking sheet.
  2. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, melted butter and garlic. Drizzle the garlic oil over the croutons and sprinkle the top with 2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese. Toss until evenly coated.
  3. Spread in a single layer over the baking sheet and bake at 350˚F until light golden and crisp (10-12 minutes), or to desired crispness.


Traditional Caesar Dressing

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 4 anchovies, finely chopped/minced [or 2 teaspoons anchovy paste]
  • 1 grated garlic clove
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup light or regular olive oil [not extra virgin]
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  1. Combine egg yolk, anchovies, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice in a food processor or large bowl. Whisk until blended, about 30 seconds.
  2. Slowly pour the olive oil into egg mixture, whisking constantly until mixture is thick and emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Transfer to a mason jar, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.


Creamy Caesar Dressing [not traditional but delicious just the same!]

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated or pressed
  • 3 TBSP fresh lemon juice [about 1 large lemon]
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup light olive oil, or other neutral oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  1. In a large bowl or food processor, combine mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, grated garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Process/whisk until blended.
  2. While the food processor is running vigorously, slowly drizzle in olive oil and continue processing/whisking until the oil is well incorporated and the dressing is slightly thick.
  3. Add parmesan and whisk to combine. Transfer to a jar, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.


For the Caesar Salad:

  • 1 large head romaine lettuce (or 2 small heads romaine)
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, shredded or shaved

Rinse, dry and chop or tear the romaine into bite-sized pieces. Place in a large serving bowl and sprinkle generously with shredded parmesan cheese and croutons. Drizzle with Caesar dressing and toss gently until lettuce is evenly coated.




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