I spent a 10 year period of my life eating vegetarian. My reasoning for abstaining from meat was two fold, first I was struggling with some health problems that were significantly reduced by going meat free, as well as a disdain for factory farming. I've read a number of books and articles about big agri-business and it's not good for the animals but it's also not very good for us. I promise I won't get on my soapbox, but if you are interesting in learning more I can recommend some good books. I eat meat now, finding sustainable sources for the meat I use.
When you follow a vegetarian diet closely, you learn all the hidden animal ingredients in your favorite foods. For example, frosted cereals often have gelatin in the sugary icing. Certain beer and wine brands use animal products in processing. Many cheeses are not vegetarian. And of course, caesar salad can have anchovies in the salad itself but classic caesar dressing has anchovies in the dressing. This salad is really about the dressing. It's not as creamy as a classic caesar, made with greek yogurt, but it works really well with romaine lettuce and fresh homemade croutons. I've served this salad several times to friends and family and find that almost everyone goes back for seconds!
Start first with the croutons. You can certainly use store bought but homemade croutons are really easy and so much better. A loaf of good artisan baked bread, some olive oil, and Italian seasoning is all it takes.
Slice and cube half a french baguette. Season with salt and pepper, a tablespoon of dried basil, a tablespoon of dried oregano, and a teaspoon of garlic powder. Drizzle in a few tablespoons of olive oil to coat the bread and toss together. Spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees until toasted, 10-15 minutes.
While croutons are toasting, chop and wash romaine lettuce. To prepare dressing, in a food processor combine 1/4 cup of plain greek yogurt, 1 clove of garlic, a teaspoon of spicy mustard, the juice of one lemon, a teaspoon of white wine vinegar, a teaspoon of capers, and salt and pepper. Pulse until blended smooth.
To assemble; toss lettuce, croutons, and dressing in a large bowl. Add freshly grated parmesan cheese (look for vegetarian on the label) and fresh cracked black pepper. Serve immediately alongside your favorite vegetarian entree. This salad works especially well with butternut squash lasagna.
Vegetarian Caesar SaladBy Land of Noms, February 3, 2015
- 1/2 fresh baguette
- 1 tablespoon of dried basil
- 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1/4 cup of plain greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon of spicy mustard
- 1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of capers
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped and washed
- freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Cube baguette, combine with dried basil, oregano, and garlic powder, stir to combine
- Season bread with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil to coat, and spread out on a baking sheet in a single layer
- Bake croutons until lightly browned, 10-15 minutes
- In a food processor or blender, combine garlic, greek yogurt, mustard, white wine vinegar, capers, and lemon juice, pulse or blend until smooth, season with salt and pepper
- Assemble salad tossing chopped romaine, croutons, and dressing together in a large bowl, serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese and fresh cracked black pepper
Sharing our culinary adventures in Cascadia with simple, sustainable & satisfying eats. Bon Appétit!