Deconstructed Caesar Salad with Caesar Cream Dip

Good as an appetizer for a casual gathering, or an intimate dinner salad to share with your special one. It's a good way to serve a salad when you're featuring a fondue dinner.

I've also served it on the buffet table at cocktail parties, and as long as you offer appetizer plates it works out very well.

The recipe is loosely based on one found in the excellent cookbook ~

by the Junior League of Seattle.

The book suggests to arrange the romaine leaves and Parmesan Toasts around the bowl of dip on a platter, but I've serve similar appetizers/salads like this, the way I've shown in the images ... well, forever.

It's a neat and convenient way to serve, especially at a party because you can replace any of the elements as they run low (with duplicate supplements from the kitchen), without having to disrupt service.

Incidentally, you could easily offer other crudite with the Romaine spears for variety.

Use your own favorite thick Caesar Salad dressing, or this one.

Deconstructed Caesar Salad with Caesar Cream Dip
Romaine leaves and Toasted Parmesan Baguette Croutons
(You can easily double or triple, and so on)

1 medium garlic clove
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh parsley, packed
3 canned anchovy fillets (or 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons anchovy paste)
1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sour cream

1 to 2 heads romaine lettuce, depending upon size of the heads (Use the smaller, more tender leaves for this. The larger outside leaves can be used for a traditional salad.)
With machine running, drop garlic through feed tube of food processor and mince.

Add Parmesan, parsley, anchovies and lemon juice. Process into a paste. Transfer to a bowl and fold in the sour cream. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Clean and separate small inner leaves of romaine. Reserve large leaves for another use.

I made the toasts from one of my homemade herb baguettes, but a plain French style baguette works perfectly, too.

Parmesan Toasts
1/2 baguette
1 T. olive oil (add a minced garlic clove to oil if you want garlicky toasts)
1/8 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350.

Cut baguette into thin slices using a serrated knife. Place slices on baking sheet in single layer. Bake until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes, turning once during cooking. Remove from oven. Brush slices on one side with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan. Return to oven and bake until golden, about 3 minutes.

To Serve: Place Caesar Cream in small bowl and surround with romaine leaves and Pamesan Toasts for dipping. Dip is also delicious served with assorted raw vegetables.

Adapted from Simply Classic.


  1. Mary..We had it CONSTRUCTED for dinner just last night with the onion soup....But while I was making it..I ate some deconstructed.That's how much I love this.
    Your presentation looks so pretty..Good idea the book there also.

  2. Yet again, another wonderful food idea! My daughter's favorite food is Caesar salad. This would be so easy to pack for her lunch.

  3. What a clever and fun way to serve a Caesar. Fondue is a family favorite and I'm looking forward to preparing this salad variation next time I make it. Everybody love to dip so I know this will be a hit.

    Carrot and celery sticks would be excellent dippers too.

  4. That's a great idea, and it looks beautiful too.

  5. What an excellent idea - your presentation is beautiful as always :-)

  6. Beautiful presentation of some delicious eats! This dip sounds so good and I'm going to try it with an assortment of veggies!

  7. Gorgeous!
    It is my lunch time and I want to go in and grab a piece and take a big bite...

  8. This is my idea of a perfect lunch. Clarice

  9. Wow, what a great presentation, Mary!

  10. looks so fresh and tasty, love the ease of prep too!

  11. Your blog is a very good source for information about beautiful appetizer plates and I found this interesting blog about Appetizer plates, Skewers, Bamboo plates.


Thank you for your comments, friends ~ they make my day!

A Sampling of my food . . .


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