Last Updated on September 17, 2023
The best Caesar salads are really just the sum of their parts: crisp and sweet Romaine lettuce; croutons rich with olive oil and soaked in a perfectly balanced dressing that’s lemony, garlicky, peppery and salty with anchovy; and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. In this deconstructed and grilled version, we focus on each of those parts … and then grill them! Because all the components are grilled, the meal is very summer friendly.
With this “salad,” you can enjoy it however you want. You can top the chewy-charred bread with juicy chicken thighs and make an open-faced sandwich. Or you can slice the wedges of Romaine, drench them in dressing and tear the bread over the top. You can even dip every bit into dressing if you prefer. This recipe does not include instructions for a dressing, so feel free to choose your favorite at the store, whether it’s more traditional, vegan or somewhere in between.
- 1½ lbs ButcherBox Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs defrosted and patted dry
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp finely grated garlic
- 3 anchovies in olive oil drained and finely chopped
- 3 tbsp olive oil plus more
- 5 to 7 little gem lettuces halved, or 2 to 3 heads Romaine, cut into wedges
- 2 cups store-bought Caesar dressing
- Canola oil
- 4 slices French bread cut 1 inch thick
- 2 lemons cut into wedges
- 1 chunk Parmesan cheese for serving
- Place the chicken thighs in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic, anchovies and the 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss well to make sure each nook and cranny has bits of garlic and anchovy. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes but as much as 8 hours.
- Season the lettuces with salt and pepper then brush with enough olive oil to lightly coat and set aside. Using about 1 tablespoon of Caesar dressing per side of each bread slice, use a brush to evenly coat each all sides and edges.
- Thirty minutes before you’re ready to cook, take the chicken out of the fridge and prepare a charcoal or gas grill for high heat, making sure to clean grates and lightly slick them with a kitchen rag or brush dipped in canola oil.
- When grill is hot, place the chicken thighs on it and cook until browned, cooked through and easily lift up from the grates, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter. Brush clean and lightly grease the grates with canola oil.
- Grill the gem lettuces cut side down until lightly charred, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to the platter with the chicken. Grill the bread on both sides until toasty and lightly charred on the outside but still a little chewy in the middle, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to another plate.
- Serve the chicken immediately with the grilled lettuce and bread along with the lemon wedges. Finely grate or shave Parmesan over the lettuces, freshly grind pepper atop and place the remaining dressing on the side.