There is no getting around it. Caesar Salad is a must have recipe and will go in minutes when presented. Why – its sooo good. A few years ago, I was having a dinner party. No one was vegan or vegetarian so I thought great – no holds barred! If you have not guessed.. I am a meat and potatoes girl until multiple Drs tell me I can’t be. Until then – meat, meat and more meat.
These days everyone has something or other they omit. I omit, such as, any pepper or seasoning with a Scoville unit rating over a bell pepper, Brussels sprouts ( bad experience when I was a kid), certain citrus, rye bread. ; ) Doesn’t mean I don’t cook with them.. because I do, just ask my son who wants a Scoville unit equal or greater than a Habanero. I grow them and other hot peppers just for him.. and to bribe my IT co-workers for favors.. ; ) ; ) (that deserved a double smile as it worked)
So while I salivated over the thought of the perfectly prepared caesar salad I planned, one of my guests informed me she was pregnant with her first child.. YEA!!! Then thump. No raw-ish egg, and anchovies a question mark. What is one to do?
Ahh – ha! I had an idea and it went off without notice.
I substituted Kalamata olives with a touch of juice (sparingly) for the anchovies and the Worcestershire sauce – similar sharp salty flavor, minus the fishiness.
I used soft tofu instead of the egg – so it will be a little on the creamy side of a dressing. So I called it a creamy Caesar salad.
1/4 cup parmesan cheese grated (or vegan substitute)
1/4 cup soft tofu (can omit)
Splash of Balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
4 kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped
1 TBS cup fresh lemon juice (I won’t tell if you use bottled)
1 TBS Dijon mustard
1 med sized garlic clove (more if you dare)
Fresh ground pepper
Keep out of processor:
2 cups croutons – your choice
2 heads fresh romaine lettuce, washed, and torn/cut into bite sized pieces. Feel free to remove the rib.
Warning: No need to add salt. The cheese & kalamata olives will take care of the salt content.
- Prep your lettuce, and put aside in the fridge.
- To keep it simple, put all in a food processor (except lettuce and croutons), blender or bullet like contraption and blend until the chunks are pulverized and you have a somewhat smooth dressing (it is ok to have bits of parmesan cheese still visible).
- Taste. Does it need more Dijon? More Lemon Juice? Pepper? Too thick – add more olive oil. Add what is needed, and puree away.
- Now a table-spoon at a time – toss with the lettuce. When you reach the dressing to lettuce ratio you want – stop.
- Add the croutons and more cheese (cheese substitute) if desired. Toss then serve.
Your guests will love it and never know it is vegetarian.
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