I love Caesar salad. Love it, but can’t eat it about 99% of the time. Most Caesar salads have anchovy in the dressing, and some have it in the salad itself. Even when I’ve asked if there is anchovy or anchovy paste in the dressing at a restaurant, and they say no, it generally does and I figure that out about five to twenty minutes after the first bite. Given this, I haven’t ordered a Caesar salad, or even had a Caesar salad in years.
But … oh thank you internet … I found a vegan caesar salad dressing on food.com (my computer is giving me problems, so I can’t link to the actual page – just search vegan caesar salad in the website and it will come up) that was pretty perfect. I’m not vegan, so I used regular parmesan cheese (or pecorino if I have that on hand), cashews instead of almonds and mixed pepper, but otherwise, kept it pretty true to the original. I think mine might also have been a little thicker than the recipe as I didn’t measure the cashews and just tossed in a handful of nuts, but Bob said it was the best Caesar salad he has had, with the possible exception of one restaurant. He also asked me to make a batch of it, and he happily ate mashed chickpea sandwiches with the dressing on them, so I’m calling this one a definite win. (Next time I make mashed chickpea sandwiches, I will definitely post it.) Mom even tried the recipe and both she and dad liked it, so again, a win.
Even my salad isn’t traditional Caesar. Maybe I should call this an Augustus Salad. But anyway, this is my new addiction and will feature heavily in my school lunches next year.
- Caesar-ish Salad:
- 1 head red lead lettuce
- <1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated (for salad)
- olive oil for croutons
- old bread for croutons
- 1 handful cashew nuts
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 gloves garlic
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese (for dressing)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1-1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- pinch of pepper
Into a food processor or blender put nuts, water, lemon juice, garlic, cheese, soy sauce, olive oil, mustard, and pepper. Blend until smooth.
Take day or multi-day old bread and toss with about a tablespoon olive oil and salt. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 4-7 minutes and the bread starts to turn golden. Set aside to cool or use immediately.
Tear lettuce into bite sized pieces and split between two plates. Add grated parmesan cheese and croutons. Pour dressing over salad – about 3 tablespoons per person (although both Bob and I may have added a bit more).