Eccentric Caesar Salad

Lose the egg and cheese without losing flavor. This delicious Caesar salad would never have been created if my daughter Marea and I hadn't dreamed up the idea of writing a cookbook exclusively featuring 100% plant-based recipes. Until then, I'd assumed that a perfect Caesar had to include an egg yolk and Parmesan cheese. Not so!
February 15, 2014

Ingredients

Caesar Dressing
  • ½ cup/70g raw cashews
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon curry powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Salad
  • 2 large heads romaine lettuce, chopped or torn into bite-size pieces
  • 2 cups/120g Croutons
  • 1 ripe avocado, medium dice
  • ½ cup/65g hemp seeds
  • ⅓ cup/55g capers

Instructions

to make the dressing: Combine the cashews, oil, lemon juice, yeast, mustard, garlic, salt, curry powder and pepper in a food processor and add ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons warm water. Process until the mixture is very smooth, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice.

* This recipe makes extra dressing that you can store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

to make the salad: Toss the romaine with ½ cup of the dressing. Add more to taste if desired. Divide the lettuce among 6 plates, and top each with some of the croutons, avocado, hemp seeds and capers. Serve immediately.


Excerpt from book:
This delicious Caesar salad would never have been created if my daughter Marea and I hadn't dreamed up the idea of writing a cookbook exclusively featuring 100% plant-based recipes. Until then, I'd assumed that a perfect Caesar had to include an egg yolk and Parmesan cheese. Not so!

Marea's innovative recipe pairs two very healthy ingredients to make a creamy and flavorful dressing: raw cashews and nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast flakes are nutrient-dense and have a wonderful cheesy flavor. Because Marea added a pinch of curry powder to the dressing, we call it "eccentric," but this unexpected spice is subtle and just makes it extra flavorful.

Hemp seeds are another uncommon ingredient in this recipe. These delicious little morsels look like sesame seeds, taste similar to pine nuts and are packed with protein and healthy omega-3 fatty acids. We sprinkle them on this salad instead of cheese, and now I eat them every day at home. Both hemp seeds and nutritional yeast are available at natural food stores and online.

What I learned from writing Straight From the Earth is that my use of animal products in cooking is habitual–not essential. When I committed to creating meals that were 100% plant-based, I began producing scrumptious food that is extra healthy with much less impact on the Earth's resources. The food tastes great and makes me feel good.

This Caesar is a great example. Just one small serving has 13 grams of protein, a third of your day's recommended amount of fiber, 80% of your vitamin A and 40% of your vitamin C. And vegan food never has any cholesterol!

Marea said, "When I created this Caesar salad, I did a silly dance around the kitchen. Seriously, it is that good!" Topped with croutons, capers, avocado and hemp seeds, this dynamic salad will delight your taste buds.

Excerpted from Straight from the Earth: Irresistible Vegan Recipes for Everyone by Myra Goodman and Marea Goodman (Chronicle Books, March 2014). Myra Goodman, with her husband, Drew, founded Earthbound Farm on their 2½-acre backyard in 1984. She and her husband live on their original farm in Carmel Valley, California. Marea Goodman grew up on the farm where Earthbound Farm began, and learned to cook surrounded by an abundance of fresh organic produce. She now lives in Oakland, California, and is an apprentice midwife.

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Ingredients

Caesar Dressing
  • ½ cup/70g raw cashews
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon curry powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Salad
  • 2 large heads romaine lettuce, chopped or torn into bite-size pieces
  • 2 cups/120g Croutons
  • 1 ripe avocado, medium dice
  • ½ cup/65g hemp seeds
  • ⅓ cup/55g capers
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