I love this Caesar Salad so much!! It makes me so happy, because it just tastes....so freaking good. I dare say it is better than so many non vegan Caesar salads I have had in my life. This one is going to impress your friends so let's get to it...
The Caesar dressing is made by blending together vegan mayo (I use vegan Hellmans, available at superstore same section as other mayo), capers, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, nutritional yeast, garlic, salt & pepper. So simple. It's super garlicky but that is what I like. It is also bright and punchy from the capers and red wine vinegar. For me, it's perfect. It will be very thick, but just toss your salad well and it distributes evenly. I find this Caesar dressing has the right level of acidity to still allow for a good squeeze of fresh lemon all over the salad right before serving, a nice touch. This dressing will keep in a container in the fridge for a long time. I often double the recipe so I have it when the craving strikes.
The Coconut Bacon is sweet, smoky, salty and so addictive. I don't hold back while adding it to my salad. I like lots. You just toss the ingredients together, spread on a baking sheet and bake in the oven. When it cools the bacon is slightly crisp and adds so much deliciousness to this salad.
For my Croutons I just use whatever bread I have kicking around, but sourdough would be lovely. Rip it into bite size chunks roughly the same size. Toss with vegetable or a good quality olive oil (or a combination of both), salt & pepper and bake in the oven at 350°F. Stirring occasionally until golden brown and crispy. If they taste more like toast than a crouton, you probably didn't add enough oil. (It happened to me once, I just drizzled a bit more oil on my toast-like croutons when they were out of the oven and they seemed to just absorb the oil and tasted great in the end. Not really a tried and true method but I would do it again to check.)
For the Vegan Cheese, I found a product that I really like in this particular context. It happens to be a vegan mozza, but I didn't care for it on pizza so much. The melt factor wasn't great. But it does exactly what I want it to do in this salad. Which is to add a cheesy salty bite. It honestly reminds me more of parmesan than mozzarella anyway, so that is how I intend to use it moving forward. I found it at Sobeys. The brand is called Emborg. Apparently they have a vegan parm as well but I didn't see it, though I would be interested to compare the two.
For the Lettuce, You can use straight up chopped romaine for a delicious and impressive classic Caesar salad, but I personally really do like to add in some shredded kale to my chopped romaine. (any ratio works.) I like shredding it because kale is quite fibrous. If you chop it too big it is harder to chew. You could technically use straight up kale for your salad, but I like the fresh crunch romaine lettuce gives.
**The coconut bacon recipe is adapted from Avant Garde Vegan.
Hey! I'm Trisha