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Grilled and Chopped Chicken Caesar Salad

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Every week, Caroline Wright creates simple, civilized recipes for Food52 that feed four -- for under $20, in under 20 minutes.

Today: Say goodbye to mushy, flavorless caesar salads -- and hello to this fresh, grilled take on the classic recipe.

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Caesar salad is a dish I never make at home and that I order at restaurants only on very rare occasions. I hardly ever crave it when dining out -- unless it is the safest bet at a questionable establishment. Even then, I expect to be served a gloppy, cheesy plate. It's not really a meal to me -- it's an easy solution.

I set about changing that tune with this recipe: It's a simple chopped salad of grilled greens, chicken, and bread, flecked with briny anchovy paste and flakes of cheese, and brightened with a generous squeeze of lemon. The result is crisp, fresh, and vibrant, and the flavor of the lettuce holds strong despite the bold flavors and textures. Consider me converted.

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Chopped and Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

Serves 4

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
2 romaine hearts, halved lengthwise with root intact
2 chicken cutlets (about 1/2 pound total) 
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Two 1-inch slices fresh country bread
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 ounces pecorino cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photo by Caroline Wright

Tags: caesar salad, chopped salad, grilled chicken, weeknight recipes, salad