Daddy’s Mexican Caesar Salad

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We love Mexican food! Well, who doesn’t really? The flavors are beguiling – spicy and hot, and Mexican food fills the belly like almost no other type of cuisine! The aroma of roasting peppers is magical. They smell soooooooo good! I just imagine Kokopelli playing poblanos right through his flute, leaving a wake of the heavenly scent as bystanders gather for one deep breath! Whether it’s chicken enchiladas, elk linguica taquitos, or chicken-tomatillo tamales, we always look forward to a meal of any of them! And, we love to serve Daddy’s Mexican Caesar on the side! 

At our house, my husband (aka Daddy) is the chief Caesar salad maker. He first learned by watching our waiter make a tableside Caesar at Matteo’s Italian restaurant in Honolulu many years ago. Ever since he’s been tweaking it to our preferred style and everyone loves it. One day, we decided to put a spicy twist on his dressing so it would pair well with our enchiladas. So, he went to work, switching out the lemon for lime, adding a dash of salsa, hot sauce, and our favorite … fresh cilantro! This dressing still has all the components of an Italian Caesar, but with these simple additions! 

Because anchovies are a “love or hate” ingredient, we now leave the anchovy out of the dressing, but toss a few anchovy-stuffed olives into the salad for those who love the salty taste of those pungent little fish!

Daddy’s Mexican Caesar Salad

Servings 4 side salads



  • 2 ounces olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 4 twists of the Himalayan pink salt grinder
  • 8 twists from a black pepper grinder
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons red salsa
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  • 1 head romaine lettuce torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 small tomatillos cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large tomato diced, or 20 cherry tomatoes, quartered


  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 tablespoons toasted pepitas
  • 12 anchovy-stuffed olives
  • Lime wedges



  • Mix all ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously until well integrated. Refrigerate until ready to use.


  • Place all salad ingredients in a large salad bowl. Drizzle dressing over top and toss gently until all salad ingredients are coated.
  • Sprinkle grated Parmesan and pepitas on top and lightly toss again. Garnish each plate with a lime wedge and a few anchovy olives.
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Toss in some anchovy olives for your anchovy fix!

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