Lush Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing and Accidentally Vegan Cookies

I’ve been experimenting with different vegan Caesar salad dressings for years–including this surprisingly sumptuous fat-free version –but I decided to try to make one that tastes as close to the real thing as I could get. And while it is vegan, it’s most definitely NOT whole food, plant-based, no oil.

It most definitely IS delicious, however.

I got the idea from School Night Vegan‘s Instagram post explaining how to make a vegan anchovy, which is to blend 1/4 teaspoon of nori flakes, 1/2 teaspoon capers, 1 teaspoon oil from a jar of sun-dried tomatoes, and a dash of salt flakes.

I used this very popular recipe as my source and had a go at veganizing it. The result is super rich and lush. I even tried the dressing drizzled lightly on a piece of toast and topped with a slice of an enormous yellow tomato (grown by a Vancouver friend who grows the most delicious tomatoes you’ve ever tasted).

The dressing is also amazing (of course) tossed lightly on chopped romaine with homemade garlic croutons.

Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing

Add to a large mortar:

  • 1/2 teaspoon capers
  • 1/4 teaspoon nori flakes
  • 1 teaspoon oil from a jar of sun-dried tomatoes
  • a pinch of sea salt flakes

Grind to a paste with the pestle and add:

  • 2 cloves of garlic

Grind garlic until incorporated into paste and add and mix into the paste:

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon
  • 1 teaspoon vegan Worchestershire (or Maggi sauce or soy sauce)

Scrape into a bowl and whisk in:

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • a pinch each of sea salt and freshly ground pepper

At this point, you can mix in:

  • 1/3 cup vegan parmesan (commercial or homemade) OPTIONAL

And there you have it!! A deliciously lush Caesar sandwich spread or salad dressing!!

At this point, you can make some quick croutons or crostini to top your Caesar salad. I used a very thin day-old baguette.

Quick Crostini/Croutons

4 ounces thinly sliced baguette or cubed day-old bread

2 TBS olive oil

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp rosemary

1/4 tsp each salt and pepper

Toss bread in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Space out on a parchment-covered baking sheet and bake for twenty minutes at 375 for twenty minutes, flipping at the halfway mark.

Once they’re nice and crispy, add them to your delicious Caesar salad!

This tastes like the Caesar salads of the 1970s!

And in other news, James’ brother, Dave, and family visited from Alberta last week. We had a lovely time with them all–particularly James’ three great nephews, who are perfect angels and just delightfully sweet and thoughtful and funny. Dave and his wife, Deb, mentioned being delighted that you can now buy Westjet cookies in grocery stores. I had a faint recollection of refusing those cookies (in favour of a salty treat) on every Westjet flight I’ve ever taken, but was intrigued enough to order some after learning that they are “accidentally” vegan. They also mentioned how much they liked the spread, which comes in both smooth and crunchy.

The package arrived yesterday and I decided to test them out today. They have a great texture and the taste is very cinnamon-dominant. I’m not a huge cinnamon fan, so they’re not really my cup of tea, but James absolutely loved them. They are just the right degree of austere to become his new favourite bikkie. If you recall, James prefers his cookies to be of a punishing temperament.

The crunchy spread, on the other hand, is FREAKIN’ DELICIOUS!! I have yet to find the right vehicle for its deliciousness, but according to Dave, the correct vehicle for the spread is the cookie itself–haha. I mentioned the spread to Annie and she immediately mentioned a thousand different ways she would use it. That girl is a genius of creativity with anything food related: she has a nose that can smell a drop of sesame oil from across the street and tastebuds that can discern every single spice you’ve added to a dish. I constantly nag her to become some kind of food guru, but she ain’t biting….yet!

And the song of the day is Rosie Carney’s lovely “Perfect Perfect.”

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