Caesar Salad used to be one of my favorites! But, I haven’t had it for years. It’s impossible to find a Paleo friendly version, so I decided to make my own Paleo Caesar Salad Dressing. I imagine that some of you have been missing it too!
After my friend Natalie of Honey, Ghee, & Me bought me a bottle of this Avocado oil, I have been addicted to making my own creamy dressings. You can find this oil at Costco. The flavor is very neutral, so it lends itself perfectly to recipes like Caesar Salad and Paleo Ranch Dressing.
Why we should avoid store-bought salad dressing
Before we jump into the recipes, let’s look at the ingredients for store-bought Caesar Salad Dressing, so we can see why it is a good idea to avoid it.
This is the ingredients list of a conventional brand.
Soybeans Oil, Water, Vinegar, Sugar, Cheese Romano From Cow’s Milk (Milk Part Skim, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes), Eggs Yolks, Cheese Parmesan (Milk Part Skim, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes), Contains 2% or less of the following: (Salt, Vinegar Red Wine, Garlic Dried, Spices, Phosphoric Acid, Fish Anchovies, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Onions Dried, Molasses, Corn Syrup, Yeast Extract Autolyzed, Soy Flour Defatted, Disodium Guanylate, Disodium Inosinate, Caramel Color, Tamarind, Flavors Natural, Sorbic Acid, Calcium Disodium EDTA)
This is the ingredients list of an organic brand.
*Canola oil, *parmesan cheese (*milk, *cheese culture, salt, enzymes), *apple cider vinegar, *lemon juice, anchovy paste (anchovies, salt, water, olive oil), sea salt, *garlic, xanthan gum, *black pepper. *Organic Ingredients
It’s easy to see what’s wrong with the conventional brand. It’s loaded with what Michael Pollan likes to refer to as “edible food like substances”, everything from processed unhealthy oils to food coloring. Although the organic brand has a much shorter ingredient list, the first ingredient is canola oil. No, thank you! I don’t want to eat lettuce drenched in canola oil.
For those new to the Paleo diet, it’s recommended that you avoid canola oil. Canola oil is made with a highly unnatural processing method that involves high heat, deodorization and the toxic solvent hexane. You can read more about it here.
The good news is that making your own dressings is not only much healthier, but it is also easy to make and tastes much better than the store bought stuff.
I’ve been using this dressing with everything. Just the other day, I made a kale salad (pictured here) with carrots and some cabbage for color, tossed with this Paleo Caesar Salad dressing and some fresh lemon zest.
Paleo Caesar Salad Dressing
You will need a food processor for this one. I used this size, but any size will do!
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 small cloves garlic
1 teaspoon dijon mustard (I use this kind)
6-8 anchovy fillets packed in olive oil
2 large egg yolks, preferably pasture raised
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup avocado oil (I recommend this brand)
2 tablespoons olive oil (find my favorite 100% olive oil here)
- In the bowl of a food processor combine, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, anchovy fillets, egg yolks, salt and pepper. Blend together and mix thoroughly.
- In a slow stream add avocado oil and olive oil through hole in the lid. Adding the oil slowly is key to making the dressing. This will help it emulsify and become creamy. Most food processors have an insert with a little whole. You can just add your oil there and keep the food processor on until all the oil has mixed in.