Caesar Salad with Chile-Spiced Croutons

Caesar Salad with Chile-Spiced Croutons
Staff Writer
Caesar Salad with Chile-Spiced Croutons

Viviane Bauquet Farre

Caesar Salad with Chile-Spiced Croutons

Who doesn’t love Caesar salad? I haven’t met anyone yet... And it’s been a favorite of mine ever since my college days in California. Back then, any trendy restaurant would assemble it right at your table. The waiter would arrive with his arsenal and furiously whip an egg to make the dressing. Going out for dinner and not ordering one was inconceivable!

For me, this favorite recipe has evolved though. First, I find the egg-based dressing a bit rich, so I’ve come up with one that’s just as creamy and flavorful but sits better in my stomach.

Then, whenever possible, I like to use young romaine lettuces that I serve whole. It makes a gorgeous presentation and looks less predictable than the torn-up pieces of mature, thick romaine leaves. The real bonus of course is that these young romaines are utterly succulent! You won’t find them in your grocery store though, so head out to your local farmers market to pick a bunch. And I dare say you haven’t tasted a romaine until you taste these young lettuces!

Lastly, I like to make my own croutons. I’ll admit it’s a fetish of mine, but I just don’t enjoy the boxed, super dehydrated ones. Spiked with a little chili powder, they are good enough that my husband Marc always tries to steal a few before I’m ready to serve.

A few tweaks on this classic recipe make a modern and light Caesar salad that’s also bursting with flavor... In fact, I always eat twice my share!


For the dressing

Place all of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until well blended. Set aside.

For the croutons

Heat the oil in a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bread cubes and toss well. Sauté undisturbed until golden, about 1-2 minutes. Toss and continue to sauté until golden on all sides, about 2 more minutes. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl. Season with the salt, pepper, to taste, and chili powder. Toss well and let cool to room temperature.

For the salad

Place 3 romaine halves in the center of each plate. Drizzle with the dressing and top with the croutons. Garnish with the cheese and season with freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.


Calories per serving:

195 kcal

Daily value:



  • Carbohydrate, by difference 31 g
  • Protein 3 g
  • Total lipid (fat) 7 g
  • Vitamin A, IU 585 IU
  • Vitamin A, RAE 29 µg
  • Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid 1 mg
  • Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 1 mg
  • Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 3 µg
  • Ash 1 g
  • Caffeine 1 mg
  • Calcium, Ca 13 mg
  • Carotene, alpha 39 µg
  • Carotene, beta 283 µg
  • Choline, total 3 mg
  • Cryptoxanthin, beta 68 µg
  • Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 1 g
  • Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 3 g
  • Fatty acids, total saturated 2 g
  • Fiber, total dietary 2 g
  • Folate, DFE 13 µg
  • Folate, food 6 µg
  • Folate, total 12 µg
  • Folic acid 4 µg
  • Iron, Fe 1 mg
  • Lutein + zeaxanthin 11 µg
  • Magnesium, Mg 11 mg
  • Niacin 1 mg
  • Phosphorus, P 35 mg
  • Phytosterols 2 mg
  • Potassium, K 103 mg
  • Selenium, Se 3 µg
  • Sodium, Na 389 mg
  • Sugars, total 6 g
  • Theobromine 30 mg
  • Water 13 g
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