Goat Cheese Caesar Salad with Roasted Tomatoes and Parmesan Crisp

May 12, 2010
2 Ratings
Author Notes

I absolutely love goat cheese, and I really love homemade caesar - especially when it is not doused with dressing. This salad is inspired by a dish that I had at Michel Richard's Central restaurant in D.C. When I saw caesar salad AND goat cheese on the menu, I knew it was something I had to try. This is my "home" version of a goat cheese caesar salad adding roasted tomatoes for color and flavor. I hope you enjoy! - brooke's kitchen —Plum Pie

Test Kitchen Notes

This is the kind of recipe that has the veneer of a restaurant recipe, but the soul of one by a home cook. It has complexity -- a bed of seasoned goat cheese beneath the salad, a sprinkling of blistered cherry tomatoes, and a cap made of a baked parmesan crisp -- but each part is easy and can be made ahead of time. So don't sweat it. Put this on the menu for your next dinner party. One note: we didn't break up the romaine leaves -- instead, we used just the tender inner leaves and dressed them whole so we could stack them up, Suzanne Goin style. - A&M —The Editors

  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • Serves 2 or more
  • For the Caesar dressing
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper, plus more to taste
  • For the salad
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 heads of romaine lettuce (or how ever many you are serving)
  • 4 ounces good goat cheese
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
In This Recipe
  1. Mix all of dressing ingredients together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place in refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. Take goat cheese out of refrigerator to soften. Grate garlic and mix with oregano and cream. Mix softened goat cheese with herb cream mixture and set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 375° F. Toss cherry tomatoes with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Roast in oven for about 20 minutes or until tomatoes burst and brown in a few spots. Take out of oven and set aside.
  4. Raise oven temperature to 400° F.
  5. Pour a heaping tablespoon of parmesan on a silicone or parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with 1/2 cup parmesan cheese spacing cheese at least 1/2 inch apart. Reserve 1/4 cup parmesan for serving. Bake for about 5 minutes until crisp and golden brown. Cool.
  6. Clean romaine lettuce and trim. Place between damp paper towels and place in refrigerator until ready to use.
  7. Pipe a portion of goat cheese mousse on bottom of one salad plate (depending on how much goat cheese you like). I use a ziploc bag with the corner cut off to make a pretty design or you can always spoon on the bottom. Repeat with remaining salad plates.
  8. Toss romaine very lightly with dressing (be very sparse as I always put a little dressing on top of finished salad). Divide lettuce between salad plates.
  9. Divide roasted tomatoes on top of salad. Drizzle about a tablespoon of dressing on lettuce and sprinkle with parmesan. Add parmesan crisp and serve.
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    34 Reviews

    Rajat D. March 2, 2020
    I like how this recipe uses whole romaine leaf as opposed to chopping it. Balsamic vinegar, goat cheese and roasted tomatoes are heavenly.
    michelle May 4, 2016
    Can any vegetarians recommend a substitute for the anchovy paste? Or is this ingredient essential to the recipe? I am not a fan of fishiness.
    Brenny June 16, 2016
    Hi Michelle,
    I am going to make this salad tomorrow and plan on using kalamata olives instead of the anchovy paste.
    kasia S. June 17, 2018
    Olive tapenade :)
    Manhattan T. February 21, 2014
    Made this for a dinner party and couldn't have been more pleased, not only with how it turned out but with the advance prep I was able to do. The dressing was fabulous and the tomatoes were a beautiful, bright pop of color and acidity. I used homemade, torn-bread croutons instead of the parmesan frico but will make those in advance next time, too, and just store 'em in tupperware until ready to use. This was a simple but impressive dinner party salad that's so easy it can be a weeknight salad, too. Will happily make it again.
    Emily R. January 18, 2014
    Fabulous! A great crowd-pleaser.
    JanetFL June 7, 2012
    Thank you for this wonderful recipe, BK. I will be making it often!
    JanetFL June 7, 2012
    BK, thank you for this recipe. I love everything about it and will be making if often.
    boulangere October 4, 2011
    JoyceB, we're making this this week with crème fraîche as well, and very much looking forward to it.
    JoyceB June 22, 2011
    I made this last night subbing sour cream for creme fraiche (needs must). It was delicious. The dressing alone is a keeper even without the other elements that make up this recipe.
    shayma May 27, 2010
    the roasted tomatoes won me over.
    Author Comment
    Plum P. May 31, 2010
    Thanks Shayma. I love roasted tomatoes too!
    mrslarkin May 27, 2010
    Congrats, BK! A lovely recipe!
    Author Comment
    Plum P. May 31, 2010
    Thank you so much MrsLarkin!
    monkeymom May 26, 2010
    I tried this yesterday and it did not disappoint. My goat cheese had gone bad (rrr) so I subbed cottage cheese and creme fraiche for the goat cheese and heavy cream. It turned out great and may be an option for folks who don't like goat cheese. All the components are so nice together - I loved the tomatoes and the crisps. Congratulations on your win!
    Author Comment
    Plum P. May 31, 2010
    That is a great suggestion! I never think of those that don't love goat cheese because I love it so much :) I am so glad that you enjoyed it!
    Oui, C. May 26, 2010
    Congratulations on your win and a great looking recipe. As soon as my romaine lettuce is big enough to harvest, we'll be enjoying this dish on our table. - S
    Author Comment
    Plum P. May 31, 2010
    Oh I am so jealous! There is barely room in my tiny apartment to grow my own herbs :( Please let me know what you think!
    Lizthechef May 26, 2010
    Congratulations on such a beautiful recipe, a true winner!
    Author Comment
    Plum P. May 31, 2010
    Thank you Liz!
    WhitneyRanson May 25, 2010
    This salad sounds delicious!! Yum! You are the best cook.
    jlffool May 23, 2010
    This was a big departure from my normal Caesar salad recipe, but a big hit. I normally make The Silver Palettes Garlic and Anchovy Dressing and serve with reconstituted sun dried tomatoes and either blackened shrimp or chix. This was a really nice alternative however. Hubby loved it. The roasted cherry tomatoes are like candy and add the sweet that I like. I didn't have anchovy paste, but used 1 whole anchovy instead and pulsed all the ingredients in the Cuisinart instead. Wonderful!
    Author Comment
    Plum P. May 24, 2010
    Thanks jlffool! I'm glad you liked it. Your version with sounds delicious as well with the sundried tomatoes. Yum!
    Jennifer A. May 23, 2010
    So delicious! We loved the fresh taste of the dressing, and will use the grated garlic trick again. The warm, roasted tomatoes are a really nice touch. Thanks!
    Author Comment
    Plum P. May 23, 2010
    I'm so glad you enjoyed it Jennifer Ann! Thanks for your comment!
    Soup N. May 20, 2010
    Way to go Brooke. This is a great salad.
    mrslarkin May 20, 2010
    Congrats Brooke! I love all these tangy flavors!
    lapadia May 20, 2010
    Absolutely love this; I often make parmesan crisps (I call them Cheesy Snowflakes, long story) and roast tomatoes, goat cheese is a fav and your no-egg dressing is just the way I like it…A “Perfect Match” for my dinner table!
    drbabs May 20, 2010
    This is so beautiful and creative--congratulations!