Classic Caesar Salad [vegan]

Classic Caesar Salad

CaesarSalad - 27If you’ve ever had a Caesar salad made the traditional way, with dressing mixed from scratch table side, in the same wooden bowl the salad is then tossed in, you know it’s something special. No pre-made dressing can replicate the taste, aroma and mouthfeel of fresh garlic and anchovies rubbed around the bowl. Veganizing this is a bit of a challenge, since a classic Caesar contains egg, dairy AND (two) fish ingredients.  We took the challenge, and think you’ll like the results. It’s a bit of work, but the end result is worth it.

Ingredients

1 head fresh Romaine lettuce
1 heaping cup croutons (vegan – no egg or dairy ingredients)
1/3 cup grated vegan Parmesan cheese

1 batch Mad Vegan Chef’s “Anchovy”(recipe follows)
2 cloves garlic, pressed or smashed & finely chopped
2 tsp. vegan egg substitue such as Follow Your Heart Vegan Egg
2 Tbsp. ice cold water
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. tamari
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Prepare lettuce: cut off bottom 2 inches of stem base and discard. Cut head of lettuce lengthwise into quarters, then widthwise into bite size slices. Immerse cut lettuce in bowl of very cold tap water, rinse well, drain, and dry thoroughly. (A salad spinner makes drying the lettuce easy).

Whisk egg substitute and 2 Tbsp. ice cold water together in a small mixing bowl until well combined. You should have about 2 Tbsp of a thick gel resembling egg yolks in consistency.

In a large wooden salad bowl, mash together the vegan anchovy and garlic with a hard spatula or the back of a wooden spoon, until well combined.  Smear mixture around surface of bowl as you are mashing it, then scrape the mash to bottom of bowl. Whisk the prepared egg substitute, tamari, lemon juice, vinegar and mustard into the garlic/”anchovy” paste until well combined. Whisk in a small pinch of salt and pepper. Then, whisking constantly or with an electric hand mixer on low speed, add the oil in a thin stream until well blended. Scrape sides of bowl so all dressing is at the bottom.

Add the lettuce and grated cheese to the salad bowl and toss thoroughly with the dressing, then mix in the croutons and finish with a few grinds of black pepper.

Serves 4 as a starter salad or 2 as main course portion.

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