This vegan version of a traditional favorite adds a classic flair to any meal. Freshly prepared croutons add a real punch and tofu imparts a creamy consistency to the delightfully authentic-tasting dressing.
Jazzy Vegan Caesar Salad Recipe
Makes 4 to 6 servings
• 12 cups lightly packed romaine lettuce, washed, dried, and cut into bite-size pieces
• 5 to 6 slices very fresh whole-grain bread
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
• Caesar Salad Dressing (see recipe below)
• 1 tablespoon Cashew Parmesan, plus more for serving (optional)
1. Cover and refrigerate the prepared lettuce to allow it to crisp up.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper. Cut each slice of bread into nine equally-sized pieces.
3. Put the bread cubes and garlic powder into a medium bowl, and stir gently to evenly coat the bread cubes. Add the Italian seasoning, and stir to evenly coat. Spread the seasoned bread cubes in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet.
4. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, turning once, until the bread cubes are golden and crisp. Put the baking sheet on a wire rack. Let the croutons cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
5. Place the dressing in a large bowl. Add lettuce and croutons. Toss well to thoroughly coat the lettuce and croutons with the dressing.
6. Sprinkle with Cashew Parmesan (if using). Serve immediately with more optional Cashew Parmesan on the side.
Chef’s note: For a completely oil-free recipe, omit the Cashew Parmesan.
Caesar Salad Dressing
For years I yearned for a delicious vegan version of this classic dressing, and I was really jazzed when I came up with this delightful mix of easy ingredients. The capers stand in beautifully for anchovies and the tofu replaces the egg with ease. Deeeeee-lish! Makes 4 to 6 servings.
• 8 ounces firm regular tofu, drained
• 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 2 teaspoons capers, drained and rinsed
• 1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
• 1 medium clove garlic
• 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
• Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Put the tofu, lemon juice, capers, Dijon, garlic, and salt in a blender and process until smooth and creamy. If the mixture seems too thick, add a bit of filtered or spring water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to achieve the desired consistency. Add freshly ground pepper to taste.
This cheese-less Parmesan imparts a creamy taste and realistic texture. Makes 15 servings.
• 1/2 cup raw cashews
• 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or Himalayan pink salt, plus more as needed
Put the cashews and salt in a blender and process until the consistency of crumbled Parmesan cheese is achieved. Don’t overprocess. Taste and add more salt, if desired. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Laura Theodore is a 2014 TASTE award-winning television personality, radio host, vegan chef, cookbook author and recording artist. She is author of Jazzy Vegetarian Classics: Vegan Twists on American Family Favorites and Jazzy Vegetarian: Lively Vegan Cuisine Made Easy and Delicious. Laura is the on-camera host, writer and co-producer of the popular cooking show, Jazzy Vegetarian and hosts the weekly podcast radio show, Jazzy Vegetarian Radio. Visit Laura on Facebook and follow her on Twitter for daily recipes and tips for serving delicious, plant-based meals.