Nothing’s better than when you can make a salad that serves as a whole meal and this vegan Caesar salad recipe does just that. Not only that, but if there’s one salad that almost everyone loves it’s certainly Caesar salad.
I’m not going to waste any time going into the history of Caesar salad and whether or not it should contain anchovy – all the other blogs already cover that.
Either way it’s a moot point since this is a recipe for vegan Caesar salad. But I will say that that sort of briny, taste of the sea is pretty much what you expect when you order a Caesar salad or pick up a bottle of dressing to make one at home.
Lucky for us we’ve got plenty of briny, taste of the sea substitutes we could use: capers, crumbled seaweed, olives or pickle juice could all work in this dressing.
I’ve used capers in mine and soy sauce to add another layer of salty, umami flavour.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a vegan-friendly city (not me) where you can get your hands on vegan Worcestershire sauce (again, not me), then use that, it’s probably better!
I’ve seen lots of other vegan Caesar salad recipes on the internet, most of them use those fake Gardein chick’n strips.
I’m sure it’s quite good but I don’t have that available to me (see above) and I know that these kinds of meat analogues can be quite expensive. I suppose that’s where the stereotype that you have to be rich to follow of a vegan diet comes from.
I LOVE TOFU.
In this vegan Caesar salad it adds protein and makes you feel like you’ve eaten a full meal.
Oftentimes you’ll be instructed to fry tofu until crispy, but in this case I’ve used a grill pan to grill it for just a couple minutes on each side while maintaining it’s soft, chick’n-y texture.
- 300 grams (10.5 oz) of extra-firm tofu
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/4 teaspoon each of dried rosemary, sage and thyme
- 3 tablespoons aquafaba (the liquid from a can of garbanzo beans)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 teaspoons capers and some of the brine
- 1/2 cup neutral oil (vegetable, canola, sunflower, etc)
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
- Water, as needed
- 1 head of romaine lettuce, floppy outer leaves removed
- 1 baguette, cut or torn into chunks
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- Lemon slices
- Drain and press the tofu under something heavy for 30 minutes. Cut into strips and put them in a ziplock bag along with all the remaining tofu chicken ingredients. Massage the marinade into the tofu and set aside while you prepare the rest of the salad.
- Prepare the vegan Caesar dressing by putting the aquafaba, garlic and capers into a tall container and blitzing with an immersion blender. With the blender running, slowly pour in the oil in a steady stream. Add in the remaining ingredients. If you find your dressing too thick to pour, add half a tablespoon or so of water to loosen it up a bit.
- Make croutons by heating a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and the baguette chunks and toast, stirring, until crispy.
- Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush the pan with a bit of oil, remove the tofu from the marinade and fry the tofu slices for about 2 minutes each side or until the have nice grill marks. Remove the tofu to a plate and brush each slice with a bit of the remaining marinade.
- Cut or tear the romaine lettuce leaves into the size you want. Toss together the lettuce, croutons and dressing. Serve with the tofu chicken on top and lemon slices on the side.