"Caesared" Salmon Salad


In this creative salmon Caesar salad, Caesar dressing gets spread on the salmon before grilling, creating a rich crust that keeps the fish succulent while picking up delicious smoky flavor from the grill. For a perfect wine pairing, Master Sommelier Andy Myers says to reach for a bottle of Roero. "Roero manages a great balancing act next to the mélange of flavors in a good salmon Caesar. The crunchy apple and pear flavors make the cheese sing; the fresh acidity cleanses the palate of the anchovy."

Caesar Salmon Salad
Photo: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell
Total Time:
50 mins


  • 2 large garlic cloves, divided

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • (1-inch-thick) rustic white bread slices, torn into 1- to 2-inch pieces (4 cups)

  • ½ teaspoon plus a pinch of kosher salt, divided

  • 2 lemons, divided

  • ¾ cup mayonnaise

  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)

  • 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste (or 3 drained anchovy fillets, mashed into a paste)

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, divided

  • 1 (24-ounce, 1-inch-thick) skin-on center-cut salmon fillet

  • 3 (5-ounce) heads Little Gem lettuce, leaves separated (about 8 cups)

  • Shaved Parmesan cheese, for garnish


  1. Grate 1 garlic clove, and place in a small microwavable bowl; add butter and oil. Cover with a paper towel, and microwave on high until butter is melted, about 1 minute. Stir to combine. Place bread pieces in a large bowl, and drizzle with butter mixture; toss to coat. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Set aside.

  2. Preheat a gas grill to medium-high (400°F to 450°F) on one side, or push hot coals to one side of a charcoal grill. While grill preheats, juice 1 lemon to equal 2 tablespoons juice; place juice in a small bowl. Grate remaining garlic clove, and add to lemon juice in bowl. Whisk in mayonnaise, grated Parmesan, mustard, anchovy paste, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until combined. Set aside 1/3 cup mayonnaise mixture for spreading over salmon; reserve remaining mayonnaise mixture as dressing for serving.

  3. Cut remaining lemon in half crosswise. Sprinkle salmon with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Spread reserved 1/3 cup mayonnaise mixture over salmon. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place salmon, skin side down, on oiled grates over unlit side of grill. Place lemon halves, cut sides down, on oiled grates over lit side of grill. Grill, covered, until lemon halves are charred, salmon flakes easily, and a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of fillet registers 125°F, 20 to 25 minutes, removing lemons from grill after about 12 minutes. As lemon halves and salmon finish grilling, transfer to a baking sheet. Add bread pieces to grates over lit side of grill; grill, uncovered, turning often, until browned and crisp, 5 to 8 minutes.

  4. Scatter lettuce leaves on a large platter. Using a fork, break off chunks of salmon from its skin, and arrange over lettuce; discard salmon skin. Top with croutons and desired amount of dressing. Squeeze charred lemon halves over salad. Garnish with shaved Parmesan, if desired.

Suggested Pairing

Crisp, apple-scented Roero Arneis: Malvirà

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