Every week, Caroline Wright creates simple, civilized recipes for Food52 that feed four--for under $20, in under 20 minutes.

Today: Say goodbye to mushy, flavorless caesar salads--and hello to this fresh, grilled take on the classic recipe.

 

Caesar salad is a dish I never make at home and that I order at restaurants only on very rare occasions. I hardly ever crave it when dining out--unless it is the safest bet at a questionable establishment. Even then, I expect to be served a gloppy, cheesy plate. It's not really a meal to me--it's an easy solution.

I set about changing that tune with this recipe: It's a simple chopped salad of grilled greens, chicken, and bread, flecked with briny anchovy paste and flakes of cheese, and brightened with a generous squeeze of lemon. The result is crisp, fresh, and vibrant, and the flavor of the lettuce holds strong despite the bold flavors and textures. Consider me converted.

Chopped and Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

Serves 4

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika1 teaspoon anchovy paste2 romaine hearts, halved lengthwise with root intact2 chicken cutlets (about 1/2 pound total) Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepperTwo 1-inch slices fresh country bread2 tablespoons lemon juice3 tablespoons mayonnaise2 ounces pecorino cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.