Grilled Caesar Salad with Crispy Chickpeas and Tahini Dressing

updated May 29, 2019
Grilled Caesar Salad with Crispy Chickpeas

This grilled Caesar from Anna Jones' cookbook The Modern's Cook Year ditches the regular croutons for crispy chickpeas.


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This recipe is a part of Anna Jones’ summer grilling menu. You can find all the recipes in the package here.

A childhood spent in America meant a lot of Caesar salads: the clean crunch of romaine lettuce, the serious hit of flavor from the garlic-kissed dressing, the burnished golden brown of a crouton. This Caesar is a bit different from the ones I ate growing up. The dressing is spiked with tahini, and instead of bread I use crispy chickpeas for croutons (which incidentally are great on their own as a snack or to eat with a few drinks). The lettuce is charred too, adding a pleasing smoky edge to it all, though you could make this just as successfully without grilling the lettuce if you like.

Anna Jones, Author of The Modern Cook’s Year

Credit: Ana Cuba

Grilled Caesar Salad with Crispy Chickpeas

This grilled Caesar from Anna Jones' cookbook The Modern's Cook Year ditches the regular croutons for crispy chickpeas.

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 4

    Little Gem lettuce heads

  • 1

    (14.5-ounce) (400-g) or 10.5-ounce (300-g) can of chickpeas, drained

  • 1 tablespoon

    canola oil

  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • The zest of 1 unwaxed lemon

For the Caesar dressing:

  • 1/2

    clove of garlic

  • 4 tablespoons

    light tahini

  • 2 tablespoons

    Greek yogurt

  • 1 tablespoon

    olive oil

  • The juice of 1 1/2 lemons

  • 2 teaspoons

    Dijon mustard

  • A scant dash of soy sauce or tamari

To serve:

  • 1/3 cup

    (40 g) Parmesan (I use a vegetarian/rennet-free one)

  • A small bunch of parsley, leaves picked

  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 475ºF (240ºC). Heat a griddle pan over a high heat.

  2. While you’re waiting for the oven and griddle to come up to temperature, slice the Little Gems in half lengthways. Toss the chickpeas on a baking sheet with the canola oil and a pinch of salt and pepper, then place in the center of the hot oven for 25 minutes, shaking now and again, until you hear the chickpeas popping and they are blistering and crisp.

  3. Meanwhile, grill the Little Gem halves for a couple of minutes on each side until deep char marks form and they collapse a little. Lay the charred lettuces on a platter and leave to one side.

  4. Next, make the dressing. Finely grate the 1/2 clove of garlic into your food processor, then add all the other ingredients with 6 tablespoons of water, and blitz until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more lemon/salt/pepper/soy to taste.

  5. When the chickpeas have had their time, scatter over the lemon zest then put them on paper towels to drain and crisp.

  6. To serve, toss the charred lettuce in a few tablespoons of the dressing, then put it onto a platter, scatter the chickpeas over the lettuce, and grate over the Parmesan. Serve with some more dressing, a good grind of black pepper, and a few parsley leaves.

Recipe Notes

Reprinted with permission from The Modern Cook’s Year by Anna Jones, published by Abrams Books, 2019.

Credit: Courtesy of Abrams Books

Find the Book:The Modern Cook’s Year by Anna Jones