I know I go on and on sometimes about my most favorite things. Every recipe is my current obsession. Every new thing I share I tout as being my “all-time fav” this or that. And while I’m not exaggerating when I say those things (because I go through major food obsession phases that are ever changing), there are a few foods that I cherish above all else all the time. Buffalo chicken anything. Chocolate chip cookies. Avocados. Sunny-side-up eggs.
And Caesar salads.
Caesar salads are TRULY one of my most favorite things on earth, and if I have the option of ordering one, 9 times out of 10, I do. I never tire of the classic flavors: the crisp crunch of the lettuce, buttery croutons, and garlicky-cheesy dressing. It’s a winner on all fronts.
If I’m making a meal out of it, I simply get it with grilled chicken. If I want a salad as a starter or a side, I just do the greens. I have even been known to order obscene amounts of food to share with people and to then obnoxiously add a small Caesar salad on the side for myself. It is a go-to thing for me.
Naturally, given this obsession, I had to come up with some new ways of enjoying the classic Caesar salad flavors. Because even I struggle to eat cold salads when it’s 8 degrees outside. This burger kills it on all Caesar fronts: we’ve got a juicy and flavorful chicken burger topped with a homemade Caesar dressing mayo, shredded lettuce, crispy cheese, and served on a buttery and garlicky bun. It’s like a winter version of a salad because it’s warm and filling…and wonderful.
All these require is a handful of salty potato chips or fries on the side (a recipe for the latter is coming up later this week). It’s an easy and quick dinner that is sure to impress. It is a revelation. And I’m obsessed.
Surprised? I didn’t think so.
1 garlic clove, grated
2 anchovies, mashed into a paste
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 lb ground chicken breast
½ cup dry breadcrumbs
½ cup grated asiago cheese
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 shallot, grated
1 tablespoon of milk
1 egg, beaten
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil, for browning
½ cup finely grated asiago cheese
½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
Buttered burger buns
Shredded iceberg or romaine lettuce
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until well incorporated. Best if made a few hours or days in advance.
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine. Using dampened hands, form the mixture into 4 patties.
Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add the burger patties to the pan and cook for 5 minutes per side, until golden and cooked through.
Add the buttered buns to the pan and turn the heat down to low. Cook for 1 minute, just to warm through and crisp the bread just slightly. While warm, rub the inside of the bun halves with a halved garlic clove. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 400°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with a silicone baking mat (alternatively, you could use parchment paper). Mix together the two cheeses and then transfer to the baking sheet in heaping tablespoons. Gently flatten the cheese mounds just slightly. Bake for 3-5 minutes or until golden and crisp. Cool completely on the baking sheet.
Spread a little bit of the dressing on the bottom burger bun, then top with a burger patty, sliced pickles, and a handful of the shredded lettuce. Drizzle everything with a little bit of dressing and then top with the cheese frico and the top bun. Enjoy!