Low-Fat Caesar Salad Dressing

I'm real big on Eggbeaters. I substitute them all the time in recipes and like them best of all the egg substitutes because they're fat-free. (Many aren't!) Eggbeaters are also pasteurized. Buy the frozen kind (there is also a refrigerated version) and keep it on hand in the freezer.

A challenge was to make a Caesar salad dressing that tasted pretty close to the real thing and was safe. I use extra Eggbeaters to "thicken" the dressing rather than gobs of oil. Just enough oil to carry the flavors. This batch makes enough for salad for 4. I've used this on green curly-leaf lettuce, too. (I haven't bought iceburg in a long, long time; almost zero nutrients.)

1/2 to 1 t anchovy paste, depending on your taste (I use 1 t)
scant 1/4 cup Eggbeaters
3 t lemon juice
2 t oil (I use extra light olive oil)
1 good-sized clove of garlic (or 2 small; suit your taste)
ground pepper
scant 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (I use regular old Kraft's)
romaine lettuce
croutons (I can find fat-free croutons at Safeway)

Put anchovy paste in bottom of large salad bowl and add everything else except lettuce and croutons. Whisk well. Set aside. You will not need salt; the anchovy paste is quite salty. (It's not fishy, so don't worry. Comes in a tube, like toothpaste. In the supermarket with the canned tuna. Store at room temp.) If you prefer, mash canned anchovy filets. (A can is -way- more than I need for a batch of this dressing so storage would be a problem, and most people are put off by hunks of anchovy, so I just "keep it a secret:" use the paste and mix it into the dressing.)

Wash lettuce. (I also tear out the big ribs in the middle of the outside leaves.) I try to do this about 20-30 minutes before I'm ready to serve so I can roll the lettuce up in a clean kitchen towel and put it in the refrigerator to "crisp."

Tear lettuce into pieces, add croutons, and toss.

I am told that "one serves caesar salad on plates," rather than bowls, so that is what I do! Supposedly caesar salad was originally a finger food and only the small inner leaves were used so that one could pick up an entire leaf and transport it to one's mouth without making a mess. I do not know what "one" did about the croutons. In the interests of general good manners, though, we use forks at home on caesar salad and figure if the kids ever get into circles where they need to find out about eating caesar salad by hand and how to use asparagus tongs, then I'll tell them. For now we're happy to -use- utensils and have a napkin on the lap!


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marbeth@marthabeth.com