This elegant take on the classic Caesar salad is the right combination of innovative flavors and simple technique: greens (either baby kale or romaine), croutons, dressing, and parmesan. The creamy dressing is what really sets this salad apart.
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When I was younger, I used to eat caesar salad all the time. Over the years, however, I have grown tired of the often over-dressed and heavy salad, preferring instead crisp, bright vinaigrettes and tender baby lettuces. But Richard Blais's smoked version of the caesar in Try This at Home has totally changed my tune. As in the classic, the basic salad elements are sparse: lettuce (Blais calls for either baby kale or romaine), croutons, dressing, and parmesan. The creamy dressing is what really sets this salad apart. He starts with a mayonnaise base (homemade or otherwise), and blends in a trifecta of smokey elements. Smoked sea salt, hickory powder or liquid smoke, and smoked paprika mingle with the anchovies and lemon for a potent dressing that clings perfectly to the greens.