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Grilled Romaine Salad with IPA Caesar Dressing

Grilled Romaine Salad with IPA Caesar Dressing

In the world of salad dressing, there isn’t a more fiercely debated member than Caesar. Some swear that the only way to make it is by hand, table side, others claim blasphemy if not strictly adhering to the original recipe, invited in the 1920’s in Tijuana Mexico by Caesar Cardini, while some insist that it’s not Caesar dressing without anchovies. All of these camps, win or lose, are still people who get riled up over a sauce that goes over lettuce, therefore I can’t fully respect any of them. It’s a condiment, lighten up.

Grilled Romaine Salad with IPA Caesar Dressing

My version, by sheer inclusion of the beer, can never really be held up as a true Caesar dressing. And while anchovies aren’t in the original version, the anchovy heavy Worcestershire sauce that was use is no longer available, making them essential to grab that true taste.

The inspiration for this dish came from a guy who used to frequent the restaurant I work at in college. He would order a Caesar salad, no grilled chicken thank-you-very-much, a shot of IPA, and a chocolate milk shake made with equal parts stout and milk. He would then pour about a tablespoon of the IPA on his salad and drink the rest. At the time I thought it was really strange, but he was a good tipper and I was a good smiler (all you need when you’re 19 and bring guys beer and food) so I encouraged his habits. The more I saw him, watched his obvious excitement when his beer flavored meal arrived, the more I understood how all those flavors worked (although I’m not sure I’d pair a milk shake with a Caesar salad).

It stayed with me, this beer-salad-beer-milk-shake diet he seemed to live on, and now I’m on board. He was on to something.

Grilled Romaine Salad with IPA Caesar Dressing

Grilled Romaine Salad with IPA Caesar Dressing


For the Salad:

  • 2 Romaine hearts cut lengthwise
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • ½ cup parmesan
  • Croutons

For the Dressing:

  • 6 anchovies filets packed in oil
  • 1 clove garlic smashed
  • 2 egg yolks room temperature
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup IPA room temperature
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tbs parmesan cheese


  • Preheat the grill to medium high heat.
  • Brush the cut side of the lettuce with olive oil. Place on the grill, cut side down, until grill marks appear, about 3 minutes.
  • In a blender or food processor add the anchovies, garlic, egg yolks, mustard, and beer. Blend until well combined and light and frothy, about 3 minutes.
  • Heat the olive oil until hot but not smoking (20 seconds in a microwave is sufficient). While the food processor is running, slowly add the oil, drop by drop, until an emulsion forms. Add the salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese, pulse to combine.
  • Place each Romaine half on a plate, drizzle with dressing, top with remaining Parmesan and croutons. Serve with knife and fork.

This is how I make homemade croutons. 


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Kelly @ hidden fruits and veggies July 2, 2013 um 4:31 am

I love the sound of this! Ceasar salad is one of my favorites and i’m starting to like IPAs more and more everyday.


addie | culicurious July 2, 2013 um 4:46 am

I love Caesar salad and the addition of IPA makes me love it even more 🙂 Lovely dish!


Tieghan July 2, 2013 um 5:15 am

Whoa! Completely in love with this salad. the grilled romaine and the dressing. It all sounds so good!


Happy Valley Chow July 2, 2013 um 5:40 am

Wow that sounds incredible. Thanks for sharing!

Happy Blogging!
Happy Valley Chow


Laurie {SimplyScratch} July 2, 2013 um 5:49 am

Ohhh I can imagine how yummy this dressing (and salad for that matter) tastes! Grilled romaine is the best!


Mr. & Mrs. P July 2, 2013 um 8:25 am

This sounds wonderful. Never really grilled romaine lettuce before! The dressing sounds wonderful too!!

Mr. & Mrs. P


Dana @ Conscious Kitchen Blog July 2, 2013 um 10:58 am

Sounds like a wonderful update to any already delicious dressing. I actually never knew people were so picky about their Caesar dressings… fun facts!


ashley – baker by nature July 2, 2013 um 3:28 pm

Caesar salad is my true salad love, and whoa – this grilled romaine version has me weak in the knees, Jackie! I want it for dinner 🙂


Cassie | Bake Your Day July 2, 2013 um 7:04 pm

The inclusion of beer is a big winner in my book, anchovies or not. I adore this!


Sarah | The Sugar Hit July 2, 2013 um 7:29 pm

Now I know what my salads have been missing all this time. Beer!


Jen @ Savory Simple July 3, 2013 um 6:14 am

Beer- it even improves a salad!


Bree (Skinny Mommy) July 3, 2013 um 7:46 am

Love the addition of the IPA!


kate C. July 3, 2013 um 7:28 pm

Sounds good! I’ve never grilled a salad before, I should try.


dishing up the dirt July 3, 2013 um 11:16 pm

We just started grilling our Romain lettuce this year for the first time. I’ve used a tahini dressing, however, this looks amazing. I am a fan of IPA and cesar salad so this is a match made in heave! Can’t wait to try this dressing!


MC July 4, 2013 um 6:22 pm

wow does that ever look good! Love the presentation.


Maria G. July 5, 2013 um 11:05 am

This is perfect for a healthy meal. Since it is inspired by Caesar salad, I have no doubts of its taste and I also love salads. I tried something like this before already but instead of croutons, I put chicken bits. For me, I don’t actually mind what I drink with it. They seem to blend perfectly.


Robyn July 7, 2013 um 11:00 pm

I’m so curious about the heating of the olive oil… is it to cook the egg? the beer? to make the dressing warm? to help the emulsification?


Jackie July 8, 2013 um 9:31 am

Both. It helps to cook out any bacteria (although slightly, there is still a risk) and warm ingredients make better emulsions. It’s harder to get them to emulsify with cold ingredients.


Kristen March 17, 2014 um 1:47 pm

How many servings does the recipe yield?


Jackie March 17, 2014 um 4:04 pm

4 to 8 depending on how big you serve it.


Lynne May 25, 2015 um 7:41 am

What does "IPA" stand for???


Jackie May 25, 2015 um 5:11 pm

India Pale Ale. It’s a beer with a lot of hops. You can also use a pale ale. Sierra Nevada is easy to find and works well


kat March 17, 2016 um 10:44 pm

Why doesn’t anyone make this first and then comment. People only look at the reviews to get an idea whether they want to make this meal. No offense, however I really don’t care for comments like "this looks good" and" can’t wait to make this."


nu April 29, 2021 um 9:56 pm

can i upvote this?


Slu May 1, 2019 um 8:17 pm

Since you blend the dressing warm, do you serve it that way or chill it 1st? Never had warm Caesar before…


Jackie May 2, 2019 um 10:26 am

You don’t need to chill it first. You can make it ahead and store it in the fridge if that’s easier for serving.


Slu May 3, 2019 um 3:55 am

Sorry if I wasn’t clear. I meant, is this dressing intended to be served warm or cold? Thx!


Jackie May 3, 2019 um 9:51 am

it’s not intended to be served chilled but you can chill it if you want. It’s meant to be served right after making.


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