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Vegan Caesar Salad

Features a rich and tangy homemade dressing on crisp romaine lettuce and crunchy croutons. It takes just a few minutes to prepare this restaurant-quality salad.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Appetizer, Salad
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 4
Author: Thomas

Equipment

  • Blender

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil for sauteing the garlic
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic whole - see note
  • 4 slices rustic bread cut into cubes
  • 2 Tablespoons oil and/or plant-based butter for toasting the croutons
  • 8 ounces romaine lettuce (230 grams) chopped or sliced into quarters - see note
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1.5 Tablespoons miso
  • 6 ounces soft silken tofu (170 grams)
  • 1/2 cup plant-based milk unsweetened and unflavored
  • Plant-based parmesan cheese for garnish
  • Black pepper to taste; for garnish

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot add the chopped garlic. Stir until the garlic is cooked through 3-5 minutes, taking care not to burn the oil or the garlic. If you notice the garlic starting to brown quickly, remove the pan from the stove and reduce the heat. Transfer the garlic and oil to a glass or ceramic bowl on a coaster to cool.
  • While the garlic oil cools, make the croutons. Heat the oil and/or plant-based butter in the same skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the bread cubes. Stir until the croutons are crunchy and browned on most sides, 5-8 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  • Combine the (now cooled) garlic and oil with the nutritional yeast, dijon mustard, lemon juice, miso, tofu, and plant milk in a blender. Also add the raw garlic, if using. Blend on high until well-combined, about 1 minute.
  • Combine the dressing, romaine lettuce, and croutons in a large bowl. Toss to mix. Season with plant-based parmesan cheese and black pepper as desired. Serve immediately.

Notes

The raw garlic will make the dressing very aromatic and sharp-tasting. Some people like this while others do not. Adding 1 clove will make a medium-sharp dressing and 2 cloves will make a very sharp dressing. The dressing is flavorful without the raw garlic so it comes down to preference.
I used a combination of plant-based butter and olive oil to make the croutons. This combination makes an aromatic and flavorful result.
You can use store-bought croutons if you prefer.
It’s also possible to make croutons without oil. It’s easiest in the oven. Bake the bread cubes on a baking sheet at 400 F (200 C) until browned and crispy.
If you plan to serve the lettuce in wedges, as shown in the photos, be sure to purchase “romaine lettuce hearts” which refers to the interior portion of a head of romaine lettuce.
If you’re making the salad ahead of time, store the croutons separately from the other ingredients to prevent them from getting soggy.