Saturday, February 27, 2010

Vegan Caesar Dressing

I'm still surprised at the number of people who assume Caesar Dressing is Vegan (or even Vegetarian). I do realize it's all too easy to pick up a pretty bottle in the supermarket and not really think about what's in our food. (Hey, I do it too!).

And while raw eggs and smashed-up little fish don't exactly sound appetizing to me, I will admit to loving the dressing and looking far and wide for fish-free versions, even when I ate eggs.

"'Fine' said The Little Red Hen. 'Than I shall do it myself!'
... And she did."

This dressing, while possibly not spot-on for an authentic Caesar Dressing fan, is very close and has never disappointed unknowing salad eaters in my house. I realize there are several equally delicious Caesar recipes in popular vegan cookbooks; but this is my version, so of course it uses ingredients I have on hand, and generally seems easier to throw together - at least to me.

Vegan Caesar Dressing

  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed (or mashed with salt, if you want to do it properly)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 largish lemon, juiced
  • couple pinches lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp. capers, coarsely chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons Veganaise (or other vegan Mayo)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp caper brine
  • 1/4 tsp. kelp powder, nori, dulse or other crumbled seaweed product
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Fresh-ground black pepper to taste

Mash the garlic with salt using this technique (or put thru garlic press). Scrape into small bowl. Add capers and lemon juice and mash a bit more. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well with a fork.

Adjust tastes if needed. Some people prefer more cracked pepper, more lemon juice or more olive oil. It's up to you and it's ALL yummy!
*If you have it, a pinch of India Black Salt adds a nice, authentic "eggy" touch to this dressing but it's NOT necessary.

To make the salad:

Wash and dry a couple 'hearts of romaine' and tear or chop into small pieces. Add lettuce to a large salad bowl. Toss with the amount of dressing you prefer, until the dressing is clinging equally on all the leaves.

Serve with fresh ground pepper and your favorite croutons, and some vegan Parmesan if you have it.


T said...

Yum, sounds luscious! I have made maybe 3 different versions of vegan caesar dressing, and all of them are hands down better than the grocery store stuff I used to love. Nothing beats homemade salad dressing! (And the kelp/ nori addition is genius...)

Anonymous said...

Really!? I can see thinking it is vegetarian, but vegan?! If anyone thinks Cesar dressing is even close to vegan they are...well, I don't know what, lol!

Anyway, like you I love the stuff, so I can't wait to give your version a try!


Catherine said...

I have yet to make my own caesar dressing, but I really should try it out! Thanks for the inspiration!

the twins said...

sounds great! I love Cesar salad and have been looking for a good vegetarian version.