Grilled Caesar Salad with San Marzano Tomatoes

This is a fantastic summer salad, and incredibly quick and easy.  The romaine’s leaves char slightly but stay fresh and crisp. With Whole Grain Garlic Parmesan Croutons and garlicky Caesar anchovy dressing, this salad is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.  The smoky taste of the lettuce coupled with the freshly grilled croutons and the sweetness of the San Marzano tomatoes make this dish a favorite go-to lunch or light dinner.

The San Marzano tomato is a variety of plum tomato, considered by many chefs to be the best of its kind in the world. Compared to the Roma tomato, San Marzano tomatoes are thinner and more pointed. The flesh is much thicker with fewer seeds, and the taste is stronger, sweeter and less acidic.

Eat This With That

Add grilled chicken to this already delicious side dish to make a complete meal!  A side of cold watermelon added for dessert and there you have it…a great summertime meal!

Use my Classic Ceasar Dressing for a real touch of freshness and nutrition.

Grilled Caesar Salad with San Marzano Tomatoes

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins
Yields: 4 Servings


  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 Tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 anchovies, drained
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon agave nectar or honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 romaine lettuce hearts
  • 4 (1 ounce) slices whole wheat Italian bread
  • 2 cups San Marzano tomatoes, halved


  1. Spray grill with nonstick spray. Preheat grill to medium-high or prepare medium-high fire.
  2. Place garlic in mini-food processor and pulse until minced. Add 1 tablespoon of Parmesan, the mayonnaise, anchovies, lemon juice, vinegar, Worcestershire, mustard, honey and pepper; puree.
  3. Cut each romaine heart lengthwise into halves or quarters if large, leaving cores intact. Pat dry with paper towels. Lightly spray romaine and bread with olive oil nonstick spray. Sprinkle romaine with salt.
  4. Place lettuce on grill rack (or hot skillet), turing once, until lightly charred, but not limp, about 4 minutes. Place bread on grill rack and grill, turning one, until lightly charred, about 4 minutes.
  5. Arrange romaine evenly on 4 plates. Top with bread cubes and tomatoes. Drizzle evenly with dressing and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons cheese. Serve at once.

Additional Info

Use just the firm, compact romaine hearts and grill them over a hot fire. The lettuce will pick up char faster before wilting. Cherry or Plum tomatoes can be used in place of San Marzano tomatoes.

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