Vegan MOFO - Day 4

Day 4 - Caesar Salad

I've always fantasized that the Caesar salad was originally created in Italy by some gourmet chef or restauranteur to serve wealthy patrons as a contorno (side dish) alongside their Norcia truffle-infused risotto and bubbly golden Prosecco. Turns out, I'm not entirely wrong! 

Bit o' History: The original Caesar salad is said to be the creation of Caesar Cardini, an actual Italian immigrant that relocated to San Diego in the early twentieth-century (see, I was kind of right!). He set up shop in Tijuana, Mexico, where he allegedly sold his first monikered salad. Tijuana, you say? Yes, Mexico! Cardini operated out of Mexico to avoid Prohibition! On one fateful fourth of July - after much boozing, I imagine -  Cardini's cubbards were bare and his guests were hungry...naturally, he whipped up this little number - lettuce leaves tossed with a combination of crushed garlic, olive oil,  lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, raw or coddled egg yolks, Parmesan cheese and freshly prepared croutons - and prepared it table-side. 

Caesar Salad with Sliced Almonds
Folks were lovin' it back then, and they sure are lovin' it now. The Caesar has had many faces over the decades, and it's definitely proving itself a timeless edition to the dinner table.

Caesar Salad Dressing
Though we avoid the icky eggs, cheese and Worcestershire sauce, vegans are not immune to the adulation surrounding the Caesar (and most other foods). We've spent the better part of many Sunday afternoons picking apart the tasteful elements that go into the Caesar, and successful results have been plentiful.  I've seen hundreds and tried many recipes for a delicately creamy and pungently tangy dressing, most of which are fingertips-kissing-worthy. Why not add one more potatoe to the pot? Below you'll find my go-to recipe for Caesar salad.

Pour it on meh!
Vegan Caesar Salad
makes approximately 1.5 cups

¾ cup slivered or sliced almonds, or a combination
4 garlic cloves
¾ cup plain, unsweetened nondairy milk
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon capers + brine
1 teaspoon mustard, I used Dijon
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly cracked black pepper

4-5 slices of stale bread
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
Freshly cracked black pepper

Romaine lettuce leaves, torn into pieces
Nutritional yeast, garnish
Sliced almonds, optional, garnish
Freshly cracked black pepper

Pulse almonds in a blender into a fine meal. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth, about 5 minutes. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

Preheat (toaster) oven to 350 degrees F. Stack bread slices on top of one another and slice into stips, turn, and slice into cubes. Toss with olive oil, minced garlic, nooch and pepper in a bowl or directly on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, turning once or twice.

Place lettuce leaves in a large bowl, pour about half of the dressing over the leaves and toss with tongs to coat evenly. Add nutritional yeast, almonds, pepper and WARM croutons. Serve in individual bowls – or don’t share and eat the whole thing. Yum!


  1. OMG ceasar dressing rules! I'm saving this to try later, thank you ^_^

  2. Looks like a scrumptious caesar! I think vegan caesar dressings are better than the original by far...my fav one uses caper and brine too.

  3. Becky, I'm sure you'll love this recipe!

    Rose, I can't recall ever eating a "traditional" caesar dressing, only the creamy bottled variety. Regardless, I'm pretty confident that this recipe was take the cake.

  4. looks so good! love that it doesn't use silken tofu, as many vegan dressing recipes seem want to do. pinning this for later!