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This is the alternative to the classic Caesar with eggs and Parmesan cheese, and while it’s not exactly the same, it’s really delicious! If you’re trying to be a little healthier, but you love to eat Caesar salads as much as I do, you could do this version sometimes, and make the classic version for special occasions!
This recipe is altered quite drastically from the one that inspired me in a cookbook called Veganomicon. It’ll make a meal if you make this salad big enough! Sometimes I’ll slice some cabbage to put in with the lettuce if I don’t have quite enough romaine for everyone I need to feed.
1/3 cup raw whole almonds
3 cloves garlic, peeled
¾ pound silken tofu (one whole box of tofu in those little aseptic shelf-stable boxes)
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 heaping tablespoon capers, drained
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
1. Pulverize the almonds in your blender. Add the garlic, and blender until the garlic is chopped up a bit. Add the tofu and oil and blend until creamy. (You might have to use a spatula to get it to mix up thoroughly—I recommend only stirring with a spatula when the blender is turned off.)
2. Add the lemon juice, capers and mustard and pulse until blended. (Again, you might have to use your spatula.) Adjust the lemon juice and salt to taste. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.
garlicky whole-grain croutons
5 slices hearty whole-grain bread
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed in a garlic press
¼ teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mash the garlic with the salt in the bottom of a medium-sized bowl. Stir in the olive oil. Cut the slices of bread into ½” cubes and toss them in the garlicky oil until the oil is thoroughly absorbed and distributed.
2. Spread the bread cubes out on a baking sheet and bake for 15-25 minutes, until the croutons are crispy and golden-brown.
1 to 2 large heads romaine lettuce
¼ of a small green cabbage, sliced thinly (optional)
fresh ground pepper to taste
1. While the croutons are baking, wash the lettuce, dry the leaves and tear or slice into pieces, and place in a large salad bowl with the sliced cabbage.
2. When you’re ready to sit down and eat, spoon some of the dressing over the leaves and toss, adding more dressing as needed until all the leaves are nicely coated. Since the dressing is thick, make sure you toss very thoroughly before adding more dressing—it takes a while to fully coat the leaves.
3. Toss in the croutons, sprinkle with pepper and serve right away, before the lettuce wilts.