I love Caesar Salads and any variation of, and this Avocado Caesar Salad with Avocado Oil Caesar Dressing is hands down my favorite version I have made so far. Thanks to Chosen Foods for sponsoring this post. I am a Chosen Foods Ambassador.
What do you think of when you think of Caesar Salad? Big pieces of crisp romaine lettuce, creamy and tangy Caesar dressing, crunchy croutons and parmesan cheese, right? Sometimes with a protein such as chicken or shrimp can often be found on a Caesar salad.
I think the base of a Caesar salad is a starting off point for many variations. We went out to dinner recently at a Mexican restaurant to celebrate our kids getting straight-A's in school and I had their version of a Caesar salad. I had charred corn, grilled shrimp, red bell pepper and this spicy chipotle Caesar dressing that I need to recreate for you all.
But first, lets talk about this dressing. Traditional Caesar dressing is made with olive oil and anchovies. While many love the original version, I don't. I am not a fan of the anchovy flavor and I much prefer the taste of avocado oil to olive oil. I used my "secret ingredient" in this dressing that I also use in my tomato sauces for pasta. Fish sauce!! It lends that hint of fish that the anchovy normally has and gives a nice briny umami flavor to the dressing. I use fish sauce in so much of my savory cooking, it really is a fantastic ingredient.
Caesar salads aren't the same without big, crunchy croutons so I made some with day old ciabatta bread, avocado oil and some herbs. Homemade croutons are ridiculously easy to make and they keep for a long time. I make these ahead of time and we try not to munch on them all before I make the rest of the salad.
Another thing that I stray from the norm with Caesar salads is I only drizzle the dressing on top. More often than not, I have ordered a Caesar salad and it was so saturated with dressing it was unedible. Too much dressing is not a good thing. So with my version I only drizzle it on top but if you want to toss it, toss with just the romaine lettuce before adding any of the other ingredients.
Another note about the dressing, it is mayonnaise based. I know some people prefer an egg based dressing over a mayonnaise and that is fine, I prefer the mayo based and I made my own avocado oil mayo for the dressing. The recipe for the mayonnaise is in the notes section of the recipe.
They mayonnaise recipe makes a good amount, about a cup and a half, so you will have leftovers. Great for burgers.
Speaking of which, we were making homemade buffalo burgers one night and we were out of mayonnaise. I had picked up a jar of organic mayo at the store for something, can't remember now, and my husband wanted mayo on his burger. So I said I would make some. He turned around and stared at me and said " Ummm, you know how to make mayonnaise?" Me, " Yup. Its really easy too." Him, " So we have been together for 12 years, married for 9, and you are just now telling me that you know how to make mayo and have been holding this information from me?" Me " Well if I show you all my tricks in the first year of marriage what am I supposed to surprise you with later on down the road?" We were both laughing so hard and now he requests homemade mayonnaise whenever we need it.
For the Croutons:
- 1 small loaf day old bread ( such as sourdough or ciabatta) cut into 1” cubes ) about 4-5 cups worth
- 2-3 tablespoon Chosen Foods Avocado Oil
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
- ½ teaspoon parsley
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
For the Dressing:
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- ⅔ C Chosen Foods Avocado Oil mayonnaise***
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1 ½ tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- ½ c Parmesan cheese, shredded
- ⅓-1/2 C Avocado oil
For the Salad:
- 6 -8 Cups romaine lettuce chopped
- 1 can quartered artichoke hearts, not in oil or marinated.
- ½ C thinly sliced red onion
- 1-2 avocados, sliced into thin 1” pieces
- Shaved parmesan cheese
- To make the croutons:
- Preheat oven to 400 Deg F.
- Place cubed bread on baking tray, drizzle with avocado oil then sprinkle with herbs, salt and pepper. Toss to combine then bake, stirring occasionally for 12-15 minutes. Let cool completely and store at room temperature in an air tight container until ready to use if not using immediately. These can be made ahead of time.
To make the dressing:
- In a food processor combine all the ingredients except the avocado oil and process until very smooth. Slowly drizzle in the oil, less if you want a thicker dressing, more if you want thinner. Keep chilled in an airtight container or jar until ready to use. This can be made ahead of time.
- Salad assembly:
- Place half of the chopped romaine lettuce in a large bowl and top with half of the artichokes, avocado and red onion, and repeat with remaining lettuce, artichoke hearts, avocado and red onion. Top with large thin slices of parmesan cheese and drizzle a few tablespoons of the dressing on top. Serve and add more dressing if desired and toss the salad if desired as well.
You can either use Chosen Foods Mayonnaise or make my recipe for Avocado Oil Mayo. My ingredients are different from the Chosen Foods Mayonnaise so the dressing flavor will be a little different.
!Avocado Oil Mayonnaise:
1 egg yolk ( you can use pasteurized)
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 ½ teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 cup Chosen Foods Avocado Oil
Whisk everything together except the oil. Once thick add in the oil very very slowly. Slow drizzle while whipping with a hand mixer. Stopping the drizzle every so often to scrape down the sides while still mixing. Keep this going until all the oil is combined and the mayonnaise is very thick. Transfer to an airtight container and keep refrigerated. Lasts 2 weeks kept cold.
If you like Caesar salads as much as I do, I hope you try my avocado Caesar salad. It really is a great twist on the original version plus with the healthy fats from the avocados and avocado oil you can enjoy this version with less guilt! Also this Avocado Caesar salad would be excellent with chicken, shrimp or even grilled salmon if you want to make it a complete meal and add on a protein.
Thanks again to Chosen Foods for sponsoring this Avocado Caesar Salad recipe. I am a Chosen Foods ambassador and receive a stipend to use on products to create recipes with the products. No other compensation is received. I love their products and am proud to use them in our daily life as well as create recipes with them for you all to enjoy as well.