Any-Season Caesar Salad

A robust, creamy dressing and a few minutes on the grill help to tame chicories or sturdy—even bolted—lettuces in this bright salad. Swapping mayonnaise for raw egg means this dressing stays fresh in the fridge all week.

Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins


  • 1 ½ ounces Parmesan cheese, grated on a fine Microplane (about 1 cup), plus more for serving 

  • ½ cup mayonnaise 

  • 2 tablespoons anchovy paste 

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more for serving 

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 

  • 2 garlic cloves, grated on a fine Microplane 

  • 1 ½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 

  • 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard  

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1 ½ pounds mature or bolted romaine, Little Gem lettuce, radicchio, and/or escarole (about 2 heads) 

  • 6 (1.5- to 2-ounces) spring onions

  • 8 Easter egg, red, or French breakfast radishes, tops trimmed, bulbs cut in half lengthwise (about 5 ounces)  

  • 4 (5-ounce) baby fennel bulbs

  • ½ pound fresh oyster mushrooms or king oyster mushrooms (about 5 loosely packed cups) 

  • Grapeseed oil, for brushing vegetables


  1. Whisk together Parmesan, mayonnaise, anchovy paste, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and Dijon in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside, or cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

  2. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for two-zone grilling: Open bottom vent of a charcoal grill completely. Light a charcoal chimney starter filled with briquettes. When briquettes are covered with gray ash, pour them onto bottom grate of grill. Push two-thirds of coals to one side of the grill, leaving one-third of coals on the opposite side. If using a gas grill, preheat to medium-high (400°F to 450°F) on one side and medium-low (300°F to 350°F) on the other side.

  3. Brush lettuce, spring onions, radishes, fennel bulbs, and mushrooms with grapeseed oil, and season liberally with salt and pepper. Place lettuce on unoiled grates over side of grill with fewer coals or the medium-low side of gas grill. Grill, uncovered, until outer leaves are lightly charred and inner leaves are tender, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Meanwhile, working in batches if necessary, place spring onions, radishes, fennel bulbs, and mushrooms on unoiled grates over side of grill with more coals or the medium-high side of gas grill, and grill, uncovered, turning occasionally, until lightly caramelized and tender, 6 to 7 minutes.

  4. Cut lettuce and fennel bulbs into 2-inch pieces; discard cores. Cut spring onions into 2-inch pieces. Add all vegetables to bowl with dressing, and toss to coat. Divide salad evenly among 4 plates, and top with additional Parmesan, lemon juice, and salt to taste. Serve warm.

    Any-Season Caesar salad
    Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Make Ahead

Dressing can be made up to 5 days ahead and stored in an airtight container in refrigerator.


When lettuce plants become stressed, whether from hot weather or not getting enough sunlight in the fall, they "bolt," growing tall and cone-shaped as the plants attempt to flower and go to seed. The leaves and core can taste bitter but are still edible and delicious cooked.

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