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Monday, June 20, 2011

Vegan Ceasar Salad

Good Day To All You Sweeties,

Every time I go to a restaurant and ceasar salad on the menu, I cry a little inside.  Ceasar salad is one of my faaaaaaavorite salads EVER and I know I am not alone since ceasar salad seems to be on every gosh darn menu ANYWHERE!  Even Rotten Ronnie's (McD's) has friggin ceasar salad!  Even a large portion of Chinese restaurants in Winnipeg have ceasar salad on the menu!!!  So why do I weep over such a readily available salad?  Why, you ask?  Because while the majority of the classic Ceasar Cardini (creator of the ceasar salad if you didn't already guess that) dressing ingredients are vegan (olive oil, lemon juice, wine vinegar, garlic, S&P, and of course romaine lettuce) the EGG YOLKS that give the dressing its body, the WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE that gives the dressing its delicate ANCHOVY flavour and the PARMESEAN CHEESE are not not not not vegan at all.  And don't get me started on bottled salad dressings and store-bought croutons, TOO easy to make from scratch and soooo much better homemade!

There is hope for vegans who love this salad!  While you may not be able to order it at resto's, you can easily make a deeeeeeeeeelish vegan version of the salad at home that will impress all your friends who are vegans and friends who are devotees to the bottled variety (shudder!) alike! 

Vegan Ceasar Salad
-1 loaf of French bread, cubed
-1/4 cup veg oil
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1 tsp thyme
-2 heads of romaine lettuce, washed and dried THOROUGHLY, quartered lengthwise and chopped crosswise into bite sized pieces
-2 cloves garlic, chopped
-juice of 1 lemon
-2 tbsp grainy djon mustard
-2 tbsp nutritional yeast
-1 tbsp soy sauce
-1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
-1/4 cup red wine vinegar
-1/2 cup olive oil
-a few tbsp water depending  on how thick/thin you like it

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees celcius.  Toss the bread cubes with the veg oil, garlic powder, thyme and season with S&P.  Spread the cubes onto a baking sheet and bake until golden, about 10-15 min, tossing them or twice.  Let them cooooool, man.

Put your romaine into a large salad bowl.  Put all other ingredients other than olive oil into your trusty blender and blend until smooth.  Slowly add olive oil in a continuous stream while the blender is running.  Add a few tsp of water if it's too thick.  Season with S&P.

Add the croutons to the lettuce and a few tbsp at a time, drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss, adding more dressing until you have the desired amount of creamy, garlicky goodness coatin the greens. 




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