This is the ideal Caesar salad: Parmesan-packed Caesar dressing clinging to refreshing romaine lettuce, tossed with crunchy garlic-scented croutons, and made into an unforgettable meal with succulent lemon pepper shrimp. Not to mention it's completely guilt-free, with much less fat and fewer calories than the traditional version. If you don't like anchovies, don't let the anchovy paste scare you, it melts into dressing so you don't recognize it; it just gives that classic Caesar taste.
Make the croutons:
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Using a pastry brush, lightly brush both sides of the bread with the oil or spray the bread with the olive oil spray. Cut the garlic in half and rub it over both sides of the bread. Sprinkle both sides with the salt. Cut the bread into cubes and spread it on a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until the bread is crsipy and golden brown, stirring once or twice, about 10 minutes.
Grill the shrimp:
Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat or prepare a grill. Toss the shrimp with the oil, add the salt, pepper, and lemon zest and toss again. Grill until just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the shrimp to a plate and drizzle with the lemon juice.
To finish the salad:
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg product, garlic, anchovy paste, mustard, Worcestershire, and lemon juice. Slowly add the oil in a steady stream, whisking the whole time. Stir in the Parmesan and season with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, toss the dressing with the lettuce until well coated. Add the croutons and toss again to combine. Divide the salad between 4 plates and top each plate with the shrimp.
For a sweet end to the meal, try another salad: David Lebovitz's Passionfruit & Citrus Salad with Coconut Meringues.
Photo: Christopher Hirsheimer