Lemon-Caper Dressing

Lemon-Caper Dressing

Here’s a salad dressing that falls somewhere between special-occasion Caesar and “toss lemon juice and olive oil onto lettuce.” By adding a craggy paste of capers and garlic and a pouf of shaved Parmesan to the lemon and olive oil, you get a puckery, salty mix that’s packed with umami, just like Caesar, but isn’t weighed down by mayonnaise or egg yolks. It works great on arugula, Romaine, kale or radicchio; steamed or roasted vegetables; hard-boiled eggs; and even grains. The recipe developer's mom has been feeding her this dressing since she could chew. Ali adds a bit more garlic and lemon than what you’ll find here, so adjust it until it tastes good to you.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 1 person



  1. Step 1

    On a cutting board, smash and coarsely mince the garlic. Add 10 grinds of fresh pepper and the capers to the garlic. Chop and press down on the mixture with the side of your knife until a coarse paste forms.
  2. Step 2

    Transfer the paste to a bowl, then stir in the lemon juice, followed by the Parmesan. Slowly add in the olive oil, stirring until emulsified. Taste on a lettuce leaf (or whatever you're dressing) and adjust as needed with acid (lemon), fat (olive oil), and salt (capers and cheese).