Smoky Caesar Salad


Anchovies are arguably the best part of a Caesar salad. But since not everyone is a fan, we came up with the perfect substitution—canned smoked trout. Pleasantly salty and less fishy, it gives this make-ahead dressing tons of flavor. Splurge for good-quality sourdough from your local bakery for the croutons; it makes a big difference. Toss the salad together with the dressing just before serving to keep the lettuce nice and crunchy.

Smoky Caesar Salad
Photo: Greg Dupree
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
35 mins


  • 4 cups 3/4-inch-cubed sourdough bread (about 6 1/2 ounces)

  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided

  • 4 medium garlic cloves, smashed, divided

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided

  • 1 (3.9-ounce) can boneless, skinless smoked trout fillets in canola oil, undrained

  • 3/4 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated on a Microplane grater (about 1/2 cup), divided

  • 1 large pasteurized egg yolk

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (from 2 lemons)

  • 2 teaspoons drained capers

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 medium romaine lettuce hearts, cut into 1-inch-wide strips (about 8 cups)

  • 1 medium head radicchio, cored and cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips (about 4 cups)


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss together bread cubes, 1/4 cup olive oil, 3 smashed garlic cloves, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper on a rimmed baking sheet until bread is evenly coated. Spread in a single layer.

  2. Bake in preheated oven, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 12 to 16 minutes. Remove croutons from oven, and let cool completely, about 15 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, combine canned trout (with liquid), about one-third of the Parmesan, egg yolk, lemon juice, capers, Dijon, Worcestershire sauce, remaining smashed garlic clove, remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a blender. Process until smooth, about 20 seconds. With blender running, add remaining 1/4 cup olive oil in a slow, steady stream, processing until smooth, about 20 seconds.

  4. Toss together dressing, romaine, radicchio, croutons, and one-third of the Parmesan in a large bowl until coated. Transfer to a serving platter, and top with remaining Parmesan.

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