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Tahini Caesar Salad with Olive Oil Breadcrumbs

  • Author: Beth Djalali


Tahini Caesar Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon plain yogurt or plant-based yogurt
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese (or a mixture of both), divided
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • 2 thick slices crusty sourdough bread, cut into cubes (2 heaping cups)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin oil
  • 12 ounces 2 or 3 heads Little Gem lettuce or hearts of romaine, washed and dried



Make the dressing

  • Combine the tahni, lemon juice, garlic, 3 tablespoons olive oil, yogurt, 1/4 cheese, water, salt and cayenne pepper in a blender or mini food processor until smooth. (Makes about 1 cup).

Make the breadcrumbs

  • Spread the bread on a small baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Toss until evenly coated. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the bread is brown and crisp. When cool enough to handle, roughly chop the cubes on a cutting board or in a food processor to make pea-sized crumbs.

Assemble the salad

  • Pull the green leaves off the lettuce and cut the inner core into wedges. If using romaine hearts, separate the leaves and tear into large bite-size pieces. Keep the inner core intact and cut into small wedges.
  • Put the lettuce in a bowl or serving platter and toss with about 1/3 of the dressing. Sprinkle half the breadcrumbs and the remaining grated cheese over the salad. Serve with additional dressing and breadcrumbs on the side.


I tossed my breadcrumbs with olive oil and set them in a stainless steel skillet over high heat tossing them until brown.