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Lemony Salmon Caesar with Parmesan Crisps

Makes 4 servings20 minutes hands on time25 minutes total time

By Catherine Newman

Makes: 4 servings

Hands-on Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Total carbohydrates: 5 grams per serving

I’m not picking favorites among my dinner-salad children, but man is this good. The salmon is cooked over low heat, which makes it plush and fresh-tasting; the dressing is bright with lemon and funky with anchovies; and the cheese crisps offer just the right amount of carbless crunch (to say nothing of the additional snowy heaps of parmesan). But if you don’t want to make the crisps, feel free to use seasoned nuts, Chickpea Croutons, or store-bought cheese crisps such as Moon Cheese or Just the Cheese—or just skip them altogether. There’s enough deliciousness going on as it is, and the romaine is plenty crunchy.


1 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt and black pepper

Grated zest of 1 lemon

1 clove garlic, smashed, peeled, and minced

4 (1-inch pieces) center-cut salmon fillet (1 – 1 ½ pounds)

1 ¼ cups finely and freshly grated parmesan (use a wand or Microplane style grater, if you can), divided use

6 or so cups of chopped romaine lettuce

Caesar Dressing (below)

1 lemon, cut into wedges for garnish


1. Heat the oven to 275° F. Put the salmon skin side-down in baking dish and season it with salt and pepper. Stir together the olive oil, lemon zest, and garlic and drizzle this mixture over the fish. Roast for 15 to 25 minutes, until the flesh is just beginning to flake when you press a fork into it, and you can separate the fish from its skin. (It might look different from the way you’re used to cooked fish looking – rosier and less opaque. That’s okay!) Set it aside to cool and turn the oven up to 400.

2. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, spread 1 tablespoon of grated parmesan into a 2-inch circle. Repeat with 3 more tablespoons of parmesan, then bake for 5-7 minutes, until the cheese is melted and just turning golden. Set aside to cool while you make the dressing (below).

3. Put the lettuce in a bowl and drizzle some dressing over it. Toss well, then taste a leaf and add more dressing if it needs it.

4. Divide the lettuce over 4 plates or bowls. Top each bowl with a generous flurry of parmesan, a piece of salmon (use a thin spatula to lift it from its skin when you take it out of the pan), a parmesan crisp, and a lemon wedge and serve right away.

Caesar Dressing

My Caesar Dressing is a version of Adam Brown’s, which is a version of one from The Keto Diet book: In a blender or food processor or with a hand blender, whir together ½ cup olive oil, ½ cup mayonnaise (I use full-fat Best Foods or Hellmann's), 1 small (2-ounce) tin of anchovy fillets (drain the oil), 1/3 cup lemon juice (around 2 lemons worth), 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 3 cloves of garlic (or 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder), and plenty of freshly ground black pepper until creamy and smooth. There will be leftover dressing, which will keep in the refrigerator for around a week.

About Catherine

Catherine loves to write about food and feeding people. In addition to her recipe and parenting blog Ben & Birdy (which has about 15,000 weekly readers), she edits the ChopChop series of mission-driven cooking magazines. This kids’ cooking magazine won the James Beard Publication of the Year award in 2013 – the first non-profit ever to win it – and a Parents’ Choice Gold Award. She also helped develop Sprout, a WIC version of the magazine for families enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), as well as Seasoned, their senior version. They distribute over a million magazines annually, through paid subscriptions, doctor’s offices, schools, and hospitals. Their mission started with obesity as its explicit focus – and has shifted, over the years, to a more holistic one, with health, happiness, and real food at its core. That’s the same vibe Catherine brings to the diaTribe column.

[Photo Credit: Catherine Newman]