Vegan Caesar Salad
The secret to a memorable Caesar salad is a great dressing and we have a winner. Made with buttery nuts and our citrusy Pure Calamansi, it stands up to crisp romaine lettuce as well as our Sea Salt Mochi Snack Bites, which are admirable stand-ins for croutons. Feel like a tangy Caesar? Look no further!
Makes 8 servings
½ cup raw macadamia nuts or cashews
¼ cup vegetable stock
2 Tablespoons avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons Sun Tropics® Pure Calamansi
2 teaspoons small flake nutritional yeast, see Note
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Bragg Liquid Aminos or gluten-free tamari
1 teaspoon brined capers, drained
2 small garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
Vegan parmesan sprinkle:
¼ cup unsalted raw macadamia nuts, pine nuts, cashews or Marcona almonds
1 Tablespoon small flake nutritional yeast
1 Tablespoon avocado oil, coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
Pinch cayenne pepper
Kosher sea salt, to taste
3 large bunches romaine hearts, washed, dried and chopped or separated into whole leaves
One 3.5 ounce bag Sun Tropics® Sea Salt Mochi Snack Bites
- For the Caesar dressing: Put the macadamia nuts or cashews in a bowl and add enough cool tap water to cover them by about 1 inch. Set aside at room temperature to soak for at least 3 hours and up to 12 hours or overnight. The longer they soak, the creamier the dressing will be.
- Drain the nuts, shake them dry in a colander and transfer to a high-powered blender. Add the vegetable stock, avocado oil, Pure Calamansi, nutritional yeast, mustard, liquid aminos, capers, garlic cloves, onion powder and pepper. Blend on high until the dressing is creamy and smooth. Add salt to taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. You will have ¾ to 1 cup of dressing. Refrigerate the dressing until ready to use.
- For the vegan parmesan sprinkle: Put the nuts and nutritional yeast in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade or a blender and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the avocado oil, garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne and blend until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Add salt to taste.
- For the salad: Put the whole lettuce leaves in a large bowl, tearing the largest leaves into 2 or 3 pieces, if necessary. Add the Sea Salt Mochi Snack Bites. Pour ¼ cup of dressing over the lettuce and toss gently to mix. If you cut the lettuce into smaller pieces, put them in a salad bowl, add the snack bites and ¼ cup of dressing. Toss gently. Season with a pinch of salt, taste, adjust the seasoning and toss again before serving. If you need more dressing, add 3 to 4 tablespoons at a time. Serve the salad on individual salad plates, sprinkled with the vegan parmesan sprinkle and Sea Salt Mochi Snack Bites.
Note: A source of protein and minerals, nutritional yeast is nearly always vegan, although it’s a good idea to check the ingredients. Most brands are fortified with vitamin B-12, too. Bob’s Red Mill is a common brand that should be easy to find in natural food stores and many supermarkets. Sari Foods and Anthony’s Premium are familiar brands, too, and Trader Joe’s carries its own brand of the inactive yeast.
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