Vegan Kale Caesar
We combine creamy cashews with some other traditional Caesar dressing ingredients to make a vegan version of the classic.
- ½ loaf (235 g) ciabatta bread, cut into 1" cubes
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ pound (227 g) kale, stems removed, chopped into 1" pieces
- ½ cup (120 g) Vegan Parmesan Cheese
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) water
- ½ cup (70 g) cashews
- 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
- ½ lemon, peeled, zest & pith removed
- 2 Tablespoons capers, drained, rinsed
- 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons vegan worcestershire sauce
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- ¾ cup (180 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Toss ciabatta bread cubes with the 2 tbsp. olive oil, and place on a half sheet tray in the oven once it is preheated. Cook for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown, turning as needed throughout the cooking process.
2. Rinse the kale well, drying thoroughly and placing into a large bowl. Set aside.
3. For the dressing, place all remaining ingredients (except parmesan cheese and 3/4 cup olive oil) into the Vitamix blender in the order listed and secure the lid. Start the blender on its lowest speed, then quickly increase to its highest speed, blending for 35–40 seconds.
4. Reduce speed to Variable 4 and remove lid plug. Add the oil through the lid lug opening in a steady stream until all has been added, then replace lid plug and increase to the highest speed, blending for 10 seconds.
5. Toss the kale with the Caesar dressing and let sit for 15–20 minutes to marry the flavors. Add bread cubes and vegan parmesan cheese, tossing to combine and placing salad in bowls as desired. If desired, top each with a portion of cooked salmon, grilled chicken, or spring and summer-style grilled vegetables.
The cashews in this recipe replace eggs and mayonnaise that are typically in a Caesar dressing, and the Vitamix does a great job of mimicking this texture by blending them down until they're creamy. Capers and nutritional yeast add a nice briny and salted taste to substitute parmesan cheese.