Salad

How to Eat All That Zucchini? A Newfangled, Totally Genius Caesar Salad

August 23, 2017

Caesar purists, stay calm. This salad from the historic Blackberry Farm resort in Walland, Tennessee has plenty in common with the classic you know and love—both in key ingredients and in feisty-bright-creamy-garlicky experience—but it also diverges, quite a lot.

We’re still going to call it Caesar, and it’s so good you should make it even if we called it Chuck.

Because brawny Caesar ingredients like lemon, garlic, and Worcestershire inevitably still zing through (how could they not?), but are softened with the addition of Green Goddess-style freshness (in tarragon, chives, and lemon zest).

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And while the ingredient list may look longer than your average Caesar, everything fluffs together near-instantly in a food processor, spinning into a smooth, creamy-green elixir, ready to pour on anything you choose.

But in particular: You are to pour it on zoodles—a.k.a. raw matchsticks of zucchini that resemble, arguably, a noodle. While the watery green crunch of Romaine lettuce (and celery, if you’re my dad) has always been an excellent foil for a creamy, pushy dressing, so too is the zoodle.

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Top Comment:
“I am eating raw eggs every time I order a caesar salad in a restaurant). I lie to myself. But to make this in my kitchen, I can't put a raw egg in that dressing. Is there any substitute for the raw egg that might work? Some olive oil or something? I dunno... Thanks for any suggestions, and thanks for posting this recipe!”
— Terri S.
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It’s fresh in a more subdued way, with a pale resilience, and substantial enough to be lunch. Just a thin blanket of dressing is enough to find yourself eating a whole lot of zucchini, which is handy because that seems to be how zucchini comes.

The last flourish is a cheese crisp, or frico—and the one step that makes this not a completely no-heat recipe. But I don’t recommend skipping it, no matter how sweaty you feel.

Because for the effort of grating cheese in piles and baking it for 5 minutes, you get the fanciest-looking and most addictive of garnishes: its salty, lacy bite snipping and snapping against the glossy, soft, and bouncy salad. Caesar purists, have I swayed you to the dark side yet?

Photos by Julia Gartland

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7 Comments

Tracy December 27, 2017
Caesar dressing without anchovies?! :(
 
Author Comment
Kristen M. December 30, 2017
With all the other well-rounded flavors, you don't miss them (and I love a good anchovy-y Caesar) but you could always throw in a couple if you like.
 
Tracy December 30, 2017
Very true.....ill give it a try. I'm always julienne chopping cukes and zukes....I'm sure the result will be delicious either way.
 
krikri December 27, 2017
True confession: I only made the cheese crisps. Deliciousness (and ease!) vouched for. I love caesar salads though so will report back once I've made it too.
 
Author Comment
Kristen M. December 30, 2017
Woo-hoo!
 
Terri S. September 3, 2017
Hello! This recipe sounds amazing--I love caesar salad, in its purist form and in a divergent form--I'm not a caesar snob. I am not, however, a fan of eating raw eggs (I know, I know... I am eating raw eggs every time I order a caesar salad in a restaurant). I lie to myself. But to make this in my kitchen, I can't put a raw egg in that dressing. Is there any substitute for the raw egg that might work? Some olive oil or something? I dunno... Thanks for any suggestions, and thanks for posting this recipe!
 
Author Comment
Kristen M. September 4, 2017
Hi Terri—I think you could just leave the yolk out, and it should still emulsify nicely because of the mustard, and will just be a little less creamy. No big deal. Or you could use the yolk from a pasteurized or even soft-cooked egg, or like in this dressing: https://food52.com/recipes/37034-eric-korsh-s-farm-lettuces-salad-with-dill-vinaigrette