Frankies Spuntino Caesar salad with salmon

This paragon of blender-dressing genius is scaled down from Food52 Genius Recipes and Frankies Spuntino. If you can bear fifteen minutes with the oven, the homemade croutons are a breeze, and a quick sear of some salmon adds staying power. If you’re icked out by too much fish-on-fish, I think some grilled shrimp would be amazing here too, or a good old BSCB.




  1. To make the croutons: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss diced bread in olive oil until evenly coated, then spread on a parchment- or foil-lined baking sheet. Season generously with salt, pepper, Parmesan, and garlic powder, then bake for 10-15 minutes, stirring once, until sides are golden. Set aside and let cool.
  2. To make the salmon: Pat fillets dry on both sides, paying special attention to the skin-side if you’re leaving it on. (I do because I love me some crispy salmon skin.) Season generously on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and salmon, skin-side down (if applicable). Cook about 4-5 minutes, until skin is crispy, then flip and cook the other side for another 4-5 minutes, until fish flakes easily. Try not to flip more than once. Sprinkle with lemon juice and set aside to let cool briefly.
  3. Next, trim the root ends from the romaine, separate the leaves, and wash and dry them. Put the lettuce in the fridge to chill while you prepare the dressing.
  4. To make the dressing: In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients for the dressing except the salt and black pepper, and puree until smooth. If you don’t have a blender or food processor, simply mince the garlic and anchovy as finely as you can, then whisk them with the remaining ingredients.
  5. Taste and adjust with salt to taste — the ingredients have a fair amount of salt, so you likely will not need any. Loosen the dressing with more water if needed. Set aside.
  6. Toss the chilled lettuce with the dressing in a large bowl. Serve immediately with croutons, salmon, more grated cheese, and a turn of black pepper.