isachandra (isachandra) wrote,
isachandra
isachandra

A really decent Caesar Salad



Even I am skeptical of creamy dressings made with tofu, but Terry has won me over completely with this Caesar Salad. Capers are the star here, and almonds give it a creamy but slightly grainy texture, similar to hard cheese. And of course there's garlic, too, and a little lemon to brighten things up.  I haven't even mentioned the roasted garlic croutons. What I am trying to say is that I love Terry, and you should, too.

Croutons:

1/4 cup olive oil

4 cloves roasted garlic

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 medium loaf French or Italian bread (little less than 1 lb.), stale and torn or sliced into bite sized pieces


Dressing:

1/3 cup blanched, slivered almonds

3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

3/4 lb. silken tofu (fresh, not vacuum packed is best)

¼ cup olive oil

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 heaping tablespoon capers

4 teaspoons caper brine

1 teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon dry mustard powder

salt to taste


1 large head Romaine lettuce, chopped

Freshly cracked black pepper

Optional: Handful or two of Spinach and Arugula, well-washed. spun dry and torn into bite-sized pieces


Other add ins (great for entrée salads):

Grilled asparagus, roasted red peppers, shredded red cabbage, shredded carrot, steamed or roasted green beans

Marinated, grilled tempeh or tofu

Slivered, toasted almonds



Wash and dry lettuce and if using, other salad greens. Place in zip-top bags and store in refrigerator to keep crisp and cool.

Make the dressing first: with a food processor pulse the sliced almonds till crumbly. Empty ground almonds into an air tight container that you’ll be using to store the finished dressing in. Add garlic, tofu and oil to food processor and blend till creamy. Add lemon juice, capers, caper brine, sugar, dry mustard powder and pulse till blended in. Add salt to taste and adjust flavor with more lemon juice if desired. Pour into the container with the ground almonds in it and whisk to combine. Cover and allow dressing to chill in the refrigerator for a minimum 30 minutes, optimally 1-1 1/2 hours.

While dressing is chilling prepare croutons. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl combine olive oil, roasted garlic and lemon juice. With a fork or immersion blender mash or blend the roasted garlic till creamy. Add torn bread and toss to coat each piece with the garlic/oil mixture. Spread onto a rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle with a little salt if desired and bake for 12-14 minutes till golden brown. Stir the croutons a few times during baking. Allow croutons to cool on baking sheet.

To assemble salad, pour 2-3 cups for each individual serving (depending if it's a side or entree) of lettuce/greens, and if using vegetables, tempeh, etc. into a large bowl. Ladle on about 1/3 cup dressing (or more or less to taste), and use kitchen tongs to toss greens and coat greens. Add warm croutons as desired, toss again and move to serving plate. Sprinkle with a little freshly cracked pepper if desired. If not serving right away, warm croutons in 300 degree oven for 5-8  minutes before adding to salad. Makes 4-5 side servings or 2-3 generous entrée servings.

And did you know that Caesar Salad isn't named after the Roman guy, but by some other guy named Caesar working at a restaurant in Mexico in the 20s?
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