Recipe Review

This “Genius” Caesar Salad Lives Up to Its Name

published Dec 12, 2021
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

Kristin Miglore is the brilliant mind behind Food52’s Genius Recipes, a column known for finding smart tricks and shortcuts to happy eating. As I was researching recipes for our Caesar salad showdown, I was intrigued to see that her column’s version was developed by none other than her dad, Allen Miglore — proving genius runs in the family!

Kristin hails from California, and this Caesar salad encapsulates that California-ease style of eating. Instead of the signature breadcrumbs, this gluten-free recipe brings in the crunch with sliced celery. The dressing is whisked together by hand with the usual ingredients, plus a touch more Worcestershire and a splash of balsamic. 

Miglore’s version also takes a low-waste approach by being the only recipe that uses the whole head of romaine, dark green leaves included. Would it be my new favorite recipe? Here’s my honest review.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

How to Make Allen Miglore’s Caesar Salad

Begin by infusing one large crushed garlic clove in olive oil for a few minutes. Add balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and the juice of one whole lemon. If you prefer a thicker dressing (I did), add 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese into the dressing. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.

When ready to serve, toss the dressing with one whole head chopped romaine (light and dark green leaves) and sliced celery. Add the remaining grated Parmesan and fresh ground pepper, and serve immediately.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

My Honest Review of Allen Miglore’s Caesar Salad

While this recipe didn’t totally evoke all the things I know about Caesar salad, it did scratch the itch. I appreciated how quickly it came together: no emulsifying a dressing, and no making breadcrumbs. It proves that scratching that Caesar itch doesn’t have to be laborious, and I appreciate that.

I will say that the dressing was much looser than all the others, even with the addition of Parmesan cheese. While I would have liked it to be thicker, the flavor profile was spot-on: lots of savory flavors coming from the marinated garlic oil, anchovies, and Worcestershire sauce. Plus, it’s practically as easy as buying a bottle from the store, and so much tastier.

As for the salad itself, I was afraid I would miss the bread, but the celery brought in the signature crunch. I also liked how this recipe utilizes the whole head of romaine, making it low-waste. But those outer green leaves are far more tender than the hearty centers, so they do wilt faster than the rest of the salad.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

If You’re Making Allen Miglore’s Caesar Salad Recipe, a Few Tips

  1. Adjust to suit your tastes. If you feel like you cannot live without an egg yolk in the dressing or croutons on the salad, go ahead and add them in. I do suggest keeping the celery even if you add croutons — the zesty flavor and crunch brings so much to this salad.
  2. Dress the salad right before serving. Because the outer leaves wilt much more quickly than the hearts do, wait to dress this salad until right before you serve it.

Overall rating: 8/10

Have you tried this Genius Caesar salad recipe? Let us know in the comments!