Gem Lettuce Salad with Chile Dressing and Breadcrumbs

This memorable take on a Caesar salad features a sensational dressing flavored with Worcestershire sauce, anchovy, sour cream and Calabrian chiles—mild, fruity Italian peppers that are jarred in oil. Slideshow: More Salad Recipes 

Total Time:
30 mins



  • 2 large egg yolks

  • 2 oil-packed Calabrian chiles, drained and chopped

  • 1 oil-packed anchovy fillet, drained

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon sour cream

  • 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic 

  • A few dashes of Tabasco

  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot

  • Kosher salt

  • Pepper


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 cup panko

  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped oregano

  • A few pinches of garlic powder

  • Kosher salt


  • 4 heads of Little Gem lettuce (1 pound), leaves pulled apart

  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

  • Chopped parsley, for garnish


Make the dressing

  1. In a food processor, combine the first 11 ingredients and puree until blended. With the machine on, slowly drizzle in both oils. Scrape the dressing into a medium bowl and stir in the cheese and shallot. Season with salt and pepper.

Make the breadcrumbs

  1. In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter in the oil. Add the panko and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in the oregano and garlic powder and season with salt. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate to drain.

Make the salad

  1. In a large bowl, toss the lettuce leaves with 1/2 cup of the dressing and season with salt and pepper. Toss to evenly coat. Layer the lettuce on plates and top with the breadcrumbs. Garnish with grated cheese and parsley and serve, passing the remaining dressing at the table.

Make Ahead

The dressing can be refrigerated for 3 days. The breadcrumbs can be stored in an airtight container overnight.

Suggested Pairing

A fruity sparkling rosé from France.

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