skinny cardini dressing

The Caesar Salad was invented by Cesare Cardini, an Italian-born immigrant to the United States, on July 4, 1924 at his restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico. There is some controversy over the exact date and circumstances of the discovery (some say 1927, others 1929), but, needless to say, history has made his name, at least the Americanized version of his first, legend among the gastronomic community. Caesar is my favorite among salads, but restaurant and commercial renderings usually contain a lot of olive oil that is bad for my waistline. So, I made a fat-free version that still tastes really good. It will probably not make me famous, as it did Cesare, but at least I will be able to see my belt.

  • 1 scallion
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 4 oz white vinegar
  • 4 oz lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp low-sodium Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp <sugar> sweetener
  • ¼ tsp ground cayenne chile
  • 1 tsp fish sauce or anchovy paste
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • 3 oz egg substitute (X), or a coddled egg, if you must!
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp <salt>
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup fat-free Mayonnaise
  • ½ cup fat-free yogurt
  • 1 tsp xanthan or guar gum (optional)

To coddle the egg or X, the easiest way is in the microwave, in a sequence of 10-second bursts at the high setting, stirring between each. The number of such bursts should be chosen to make the egg begin to cook, yet still be runny. Cool before mixing with the remainder of ingredients.

Blend all ingredients except Mayonnaise, yogurt, and xanthan gum until smooth. Fold in Mayonnaise and yogurt. Blend a few seconds, then add xanthan gum and continue blending at high speed until very smooth. Thin with buttermilk or add more xanthan gum to reach desired consistency.

Makes about 3 cups.