Vegan Avocado Caesar Salad
Caesar salads get a bad rap. Even though they masquerade as a healthy choice, they’re usually fattening and full of empty calories. But we love this nutritious vegan avocado Caesar salad from Avocaderia: Avocado Recipes for a Healthier, Happier Life by Alessandro Biggi, Francesco Brachetti and Alberto Gramigni. Want to make it a complete meal? Top it with roasted chicken or baked tofu.
3 thick-cut bread slices, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
Vegan Caesar Dressing
1 tablespoon drained green peppercorns in brine
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1½ teaspoons drained capers
2 small garlic cloves, roasted
1 cup vegan mayo
1⅓ cups unsalted roasted cashews
⅔ cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon salt
2 large heads romaine lettuce, leaves left whole
2 cups spicy greens, such as arugula, watercress, mustard greens and/or mizuna
2 avocados—halved, peeled and pitted
½ cup croutons
½ cup vegan Caesar dressing
¼ cup cashew Parmesan
1. Make the Croutons: Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, toss together the bread cubes, olive oil and salt. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and bake until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Place on a wire rack and let cool. Set aside ½ cup for the salad and store the remaining croutons in a resealable container at room temperature for up to a week.
2. Make the Vegan Dressing: Place the peppercorns, mustard, capers, garlic, vegan mayo and 2½ teaspoons water in a medium bowl. Using an immersion blender, blend until combined, about 10 seconds. Set aside ½ cup for the salad; store the remaining dressing in a resealable container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
3. Make the Cashew Parmesan: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the cashews, nutritional yeast and salt; pulse until the cashews are coarsely chopped and the mixture resembles finely grated Parmesan cheese. Reserve ¼ cup for the salad; store the rest in a resealable container at room temperature for up to two months.
4. Assemble the Salad: Place the romaine, spicy greens and avocado halves on a serving platter. Drizzle with the dressing and top with the croutons and cashew Parmesan.