Caesar Salad

Serves 4-6 as a large filling side salad (about 1/3-1/2 of our plates), Vegan & Gluten Free

This is adapted from Angela Liddon on the “Oh She Glows” website. I first made it two years ago and as she says it will wow any crowd. However, there are some time consuming steps (such as soaking the cashews overnight) and some ingredients I didn’t have (such as vegan Worcestershire sauce) so I had another go and adapted it a little.

Don’t be put off by the 4 different steps. It all comes together at the end and you can use the food processor without washing it up inbetween! Also, there is a lot of overlap in the ingredients – it’s just important to prepare each combination slightly differently.

Ingredients

1 cos or romaine lettuce –  You can also use iceberg or any other lettuce if that’s what you’ve got – it’s simply traditional to use cos. You could also use kale or silverbeet if you’ve got some young, tender plants available.

Croutons:
1.5 cups cooked chickpeas (equivalent of one can chickpeas, drained)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic granules or garlic powder.
pinch cayenne pepper (optional – or more if you like it spicy)

Nut and seed “cheese”
1/3 cup cashews (pieces is fine)
3 tablespoon sesame seeds (or hemp seeds if you have them)
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
2 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic granules or powder
pinch salt.

Dressing
1/2 cup cashews (soaked in boiling water for at least 20 minutes – and up to overnight if you are super organised, then drain and rinse)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon mushroom or vegetable stock powder (or even “beef” if you have the veggie version), made up with 1/2 cup boiling water.
1/2 tablespoon mustard
1 teaspoon garlic granules or powder
1-2 cloves fresh garlic
3 teaspoon capers – rinsed
pinch salt and pepper to taste
more water or stock if needed.

Method

Night before to 20 minutes before – soak the cashews.
Pre-heat the oven to 150°

First the croutons

  1. Place the chickpeas on a large baking sheet and mix them well with the oil, garlic salt and cayenne (use your hands!).
  2. Put in the oven for 20 mins, then shake.
  3. Bake for another 20 mins, then leave to cool. They will firm up as they cool. If they were very wet before going in the oven, they may need an extra 5 mins. (or dry them in a clean tea towel first).Ceasar Salad (4)

    Next the “cheese”

  4. Turn the oven down to about 120° but onto ‘grill” setting (don’t worry if the chickpeas are still in the oven, they’ll cope – but make sure you don’t accidentally burn them!)
  5. Place the raw cashews, garlic, nutritional yeast, olive oil, garlic granules and salt in food processor and process until finely chopped. Then add the sesame seeds and pulse a couple of times until well mixed.
  6. Place a silicone baking liner (or greaseproof paper) on a tray and spread the cheese mixture out finely.
  7. Pace under the grill and keep a close eye as it turns golden. Turn it once or twice with a spatula and get as much as possible toasty. NB – watch this step carefully – I’ve thrown out burned “cheese” a couple of times as I’ve not paid attention!
  8. Leave to cool.

    And now the dressing

  9. Place the soaked cashews and all the other ingredients in that section except the extra salt in the food processor. Blend it all until it is a thick paste. Water down if needed to a thick dressing consistency.
  10. Taste and season as needed. A little cayenne or some extra soy sauce may be needed.
  11. Leave to sit and it may thicken up a bit. Add more water and re-season if you like.Ceasar Salad (3)

    Lastly…

  12. Wash, dry (if you like) and chop up the lettuce to your desire (I like it chopped small, but traditional Caesar salad has whole leaves).
  13. Add the dressing shortly before serving and ideally mix with your hands to get it to coat all the lettuce.
  14. Then mix in the chickpea croutons and top with the “cheese”.

It’s best served immediately, but I’ve had it for lunch the next day and it’s still delicious.

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