02 Nov Grilled Romaine with Vegan Creamy Cashew Caesar Dressing
Caesar salads are one of those great comfort foods that often remain elusive to vegans since it’s so tough to replicate the depth of flavor that anchovy and parmesan bring to the table. This recipe aims to please both plant and meateater palates alike by giving some heft to the normally sad vegan caesars (through some serious flavor building). By charring the romaine the normal blank-slate and boring lettuce gets some serious body, and by whipping up a dressing with some of the best secret ingredients in a vegan’s arsenal (creamy cashews, cheesy nutritional yeast, and umami bomb Worcestershire) paired with some briny capers (to give it some anchovy-esque goodness), we give the traditional dairy/fish dressing a serious run for its money. Add in some crunchy little croutons and fresh cracked pepper and you have one hell of an epic salad!
Vegetarians and meat-eaters can top this with some real deal parmesan too, but vegans can leave it off and won’t miss a thing!
- 3 hearts of romaine, sliced vertically in half through the root
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 1 cup small sourdough croutons, store bought or homemade (Whole Foods bakery makes a great bag of them usually meant to make stuffing with!)
- 1/4 cup salt cured capers
- Fresh cracked black pepper
- Kosher sea salt
- 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 3 hours and up to overnight
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons filtered water
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled
- 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher sea salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Combine all ingredients into a high powered blender and mix until very creamy and smooth. (If you like things really strong, taste and adjust by adding more worcestershire, capers, or yeast- sometimes I'm feeling really briny and double the capers, sometimes I want more yeast- go with what you're feeling).
- Brush the cut side of your romaine with grapeseed oil.
- Heat a cast iron grill pan or grill on high until it's blazing hot, then place romaine cut side down. Cook for 3-5 minutes (depends on your pan or grill heat) until you get some intense dark grill marks. Flip and cook on the other side just to warm. Remove from heat and sprinkle with a couple pinches of sea salt.
- Spread dressing on plate and top with romaine wedge, croutons, salt cured capers, and a really generous amount of pepper. Serve with extra dressing or drizzle over the top for everyone.