No-chovy Caesar

Sometimes I get the craving for a really good Caesar salad—the tangy dressing, crisp romaine, crunchy croutons...a combination made in heaven. I made this recipe with ingredients I had on hand at home, and it omits two of the most polarizing Caesar ingredients: anchovies and raw egg. The dressing keeps the umami lost from the anchovies by adding Yondu—an umami seasoning that I highly recommend whether you're a vegetarian like me or not. This recipe is easily made vegan if you use vegan parmesan.  

DRESSING INGREDIENTS

1 large clove of garlic (about 1/2 tbsp), minced

1 tbsp capers, drained and minced

½ tbsp dijon

½ tbsp tahini

1 tbsp Yondu

1 tbsp aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas)

¼ cup of olive oil

¼ cup parmesan cheese

1 tbsp lemon juice

Black pepper to taste

Make the dressing

In a mini food processor, add the garlic and capers and run until they are even finer in size and well-combined. Depending on the size of your processor, this might be a scant amount to work with, but don't worry, it'll come together in the end. Add Dijon, tahini, and Yondu, and mix again on high until a paste starts to form. Scrape down the sides and run again. Add in the aquafaba and mix for about a minute, or until it begins to thicken and the pieces of garlic/capers are very small. Add half of the olive oil and mix until combined and then add the other half. Once mixture is emulsified, add in the parmesan and lemon juice. Thoroughly combine and then taste. If too thick, add a little more lemon juice and season to taste with freshly cracked black pepper.

SALAD INGREDIENTS

Serves 2 as a meal

- 1 package of washed/dried romaine, like Organic Girl (my preference) chopped

- 1 can of chickpeas drained (reserving liquid for dressing!) and rinsed

- 1 tbsp olive oil

- 1 tbsp Yondu

- 1tsp seasoning (I chose smoked paprika, but you can experiment! Sumac, oregano, chili powder, etc..)

- 1 cup of cubed sourdough bread (or more, if you love bread!)

- Parmesan (to taste)

- Black pepper (to taste)

Make the salad

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet covered with foil, toss chickpeas with oil​, Yondu, and seasoning. Roast for about 20 minutes, or until crispy, but not burnt. Set aside, but keep the tray with foil ready. 

On the same tray with foil, toss cubed sourdough with a dash of olive oil and pop in the oven until lightly toasted, keeping an eye on them to make sure they don't burn.

In a mixing bowl, add lettuce, chickpeas, bread, and 2 tbsps of dressing and gently toss until combined. Use more dressing if desired. Top with freshly cracked black pepper and parmesan to taste. 

© 2020 BY MAUDE BALLINGER