Black Pepper & Lime Caesar Salad

My mother and sister flew to Haiti last week, the final visit in an amazing month of family guests. First Madeline's uncle arrived on a spur of the moment 48-hour trip to cuddle his new niece. Next to arrive was her grandpa and grandma, traveling to Haiti from Indiana, narrowly avoiding a political protest near the airport on the day of their arrival. Madeline's omi and opi from Canada made it in time to see her first smiles, and last week she met her aunt from Pittsburgh for the first time. It has been an incredible expression of love and support from both of our families as they trekked to Haiti, schlepping our many bags along with them. Each time, as I passed our little daughter over to her newly arrived family member, it was a moving experience. Perhaps it's the postpartum hormones... but there was just something about the contrast of having moved to a new place without family, and then watching the faces of our parents and siblings as they held our daughter for the first time that put a lump in my throat. So how does this all relate to this most excellent black pepper lime caesar salad recipe you might ask? My family is nuts for caesar salad. So as I paced the house waiting for my mother and sisters' delayed flight last week, I made my new favorite variation with black pepper and lime. I perfected this version over the last few months while pregnant and unable to eat the classic caesar dressing with raw eggs. I discovered mayonnaise to be a creamy and delicious substitute and swapped out the traditional lemon in favor of local key limes. This is an addictive dressing, so I recommend just going ahead and doubling it the first time.

Yield: approximately 1 1/2 cups dressing


  • romaine lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons lime juice (we use key lime)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Optional toppings: homemade croutons, avocado, grilled chicken, grated parmesan cheese


  1. Blend all dressing ingredients (mayonnaise, parmesan, olive oil, lime juice, garlic, anchovy, dijon, worcestershire, black pepper, and salt) together in a food processor or blender until smooth. Not that this will make a very thick dressing. Add additional water if you'd like a thiner consistency. Taste, and ramp up the lime and garlic to your taste preference. Keeps for 2 days refrigerated.
  2. To serve, toss the dressing with romaine lettuce and add with additional toppings if desired.