Caesar salad has long been a favourite of mine. I think most people would agree that if they had to eat a salad it would be Caesar. Let’s be real, it’s because of the bacon.
But this version has no bacon in it, and before you close your browser or switch to some meat filled mania video on Youtube, I urge you to give this recipe a try.
I’ve dressed it with a homemade dressing that is so creamy and rich you won’t miss the bacon. Also the dressing has no anchovies in it, but it does have sour cream so it isn’t completely vegan. I recommend a super rich sour cream to bring the salad up to top notch. If you go for the fat free sour cream you will miss the bacon. (How can cream be fat free anyways?) I went with an 18% sour cream. That’s just how I roll.
I almost called this vegetarian Kale salad, but I resisted. I am on board with the whole kale salad revolution, but I know many others aren’t. So use romaine if you’d like. Use kale if you’d like. Be wild with your choice of lettuce.
Be your own salad creator!
I tend to get excited over small things. Such as lettuce. Or Kale.
Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Homemade Dressing
You Will Need:
1 medium head of romaine lettuce – washed and chopped OR about 3 cups kale – washed, chopped, and large stems removed
For the Dressing You Will Need:
1/2 cup mayonnaise (learn how to make your own HERE)
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon garlic powder ( or about 2 fresh garlic cloves diced)
3/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese.
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
For the Croutons You Will Need:
About 1 1/2 cups of chopped or torn bread
A drizzle of olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Put lettuce or kale into a large salad or serving bowl.
Mix the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, garlic powder, black pepper, Parmesan cheese, and prepared mustard into a mixing bowl, or wide mouthed mason jar. Mix well either with a immersion blender, or by hand with a spoon or whisk.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Take the chopped bread and put in a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil. I don’t usually measure the olive oil when I’m making croutons, but I would say about 2 tablespoons. I used some leftover baguette that I had when I served the Leafy Greens and Goat Brie salad, and just tore it up for my croutons.
Sprinkle the salt, pepper, and garlic powder over the bread, then with your hands (or tongs if you want. I tend to just get in there), toss the bread with the oil and seasonings to get evenly covered.
Pop them in the preheated oven and bake for about 12 minutes or until your desired level of crispiness, tossing the bread cubes again about part way through the cooking time.
Once croutons are finished, toss with lettuce, and homemade dressing.
This dressing tends to be a bit thick and I found it was perfect for sticking to kale. If you use lettuce you may want to thin out the dressing a bit with some olive oil, and you probably won’t need all the dressing. The dressing would also make a fantastic veggie dip or sandwich spread.
And that is just another example of how you can take back the salad. Because there isn’t anything boring about that beauty!