A few culinary tricks can transform a familiarly fattening salad dressing into a low-fat imposter. The back of the classic Caesar dressing is anchovy, parmesan, and mayonnaise, but basic mayo (or aioli) is simply emulsification of oil and egg yolks. And then there’s the rub because there’s the fat, and fat has texture and flavour and all the things we love in a rich, creamy dip or dressing. So what good is creating a spinach caesar salad lookalike if it doesn’t taste alike?
Well, for one thing, there’s not a whole lot of sacrificing happening in this spinach caesar salad. Also, Caesar has such a distinct flavour because of the anchovies and parmesan that your palate will be inclined to suspend our disbelief.
Another classic component in a Caesar is Romaine. Yet lettuce, no matter how green it is, carries virtually zero punch when contributing any vitamins and minerals. Spinach, on the other hand, contains a fistful of nutrients.
I like to pan-sear my tuna steaks, allow them to cook through, cool, and then crumble them on the bed of baby spinach. Let me know how it goes. With a few healthful altercations, I’m confident you’ll find this spinach caesar salad to be redeeming.
- 2, 4-ounce of yellowfin tuna steaks
- ½ cup of plain, nonfat yogurt
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
- 4 brined anchovy fillets, minced and smashed to nearly a paste
- ½ teaspoon of smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon of shredded parmesan
- 2-3 generous dashes of Worcestershire sauce
- Kosher salt to taste
- Cracked black pepper to taste
- 4 heaping handfuls of fresh baby spinach
- Optional: ciabatta croutons for garnish
- Season both sides of tuna steak with kosher salt and cracked black pepper. In a medium-sized sauté pan over medium-high heat, add a small amount of olive oil, allow to heat, and sear one side of each tuna steak. When the colour is golden, repeat the process on opposite sides. After a second sear is complete, place the entire sauté pan in a 375-degree oven and allow tuna to cook until the desired doneness (if you like it rare, skip the oven and evaluate doneness from the way the colour creeps upsides of the tuna steak). After tuna is cooked to desired doneness, set aside and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium-sized bowl, combine yogurt, garlic, anchovy, paprika, parmesan, and Worcestershire; whisk together and adjust seasoning with kosher salt and cracked black pepper.
- Place two handfuls of fresh spinach in two serving bowls, and drizzle greens with dressing. Place tuna on each salad, and garnish with extra parmesan and (optional) ciabatta croutons.