Anyone who knows me well knows how much I love a good Caesar salad. As evidenced by the many versions here in the blog archives, you can never have too many variations on this classic. As much as I love Caesar dressing, I don’t love the fact that it generally falls more on the unhealthy side of the salad spectrum. Given my continual shift toward healthier eating in general, I was very intrigued and excited when I saw this recipe for cashew Caesar dressing. The prospect of a great Caesar without egg yolks or mayo to up the cholesterol content of the dressing meant this could be a very good thing indeed.

And, it really is! This dressing tastes for all the world every bit as good as my other favorite versions of Caesar salad. I topped our salad with a simple roasted salmon which I broiled for the last few minutes to crisp the top, as well as a handful of whole grain croutons (using my usual favorite crouton recipe and a whole grain baguette.) This meal was simple and excellent and I love that I now have a version of Caesar I can feel better about eating.

  • Yield about 4 servings


For the dressing: 

  • 4 oil-packed anchovies
  • ¼ cup raw cashews
  • 3 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the salad: 

  • 4 (4-6 oz.) salmon fillets
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large head of romaine, torn or coarsely chopped
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • Whole grain croutons


  • 01

    To make the dressing, combine the anchovies, cashews, lemon juice, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder in a blender or food processor. Pulse until the cashews are broken up, then process until the nuts are finely ground. With the motor running, gradually add in the olive oil and then the water. Add more water as needed if too thick. Season to taste with freshly ground pepper.

  • 02

    Preheat the oven to 425˚ F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place the salmon fillets on the baking sheet. Brush lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the salmon about 8-9 minutes, then check the temperature with an instant read thermometer. The final internal temperature to indicate that the salmon is fully cooked is 145˚ F. A few minutes before this temperature is reached, turn on the broiler to crisp the top of the salmon while it finishes cooking. Remove from the oven and let rest briefly, then carefully lift the salmon fillets away from the skin and transfer to a plate or cutting board.

  • 03

    In a large salad bowl, combine the lettuce, sliced onion and croutons with a portion of the cashew Caesar dressing. Toss well to coat. Adjust with additional dressing as desired. Divide the salad between serving plates and top with pieces of the cooked salmon. Serve immediately.