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Vegan Caesar Salad

March 7, 2010

Have you ever had a fresh tomato?  Not fresh from the grocery store.  Not look how red and perfect it is fresh.  I mean a fresh tomato.  Like warm from the glorious sunshine tomato.  Like dust off the pollen and take a bite tomato.

If you had to sit back and do a retrospective to answer this question – let me just answer it for you: NO.  You do not forget the simple divine pleasure of a fresh tomato.  That would be like forgetting to eat.  And we don’t do that.

I’ve got this ridiculous rule.  Well, it isn’t so ridiculous if you stop to think about it, especially given my tomato history.

I eat only Caesar salads in the winter.  I mean, if I’m going to eat a salad AND it is winter, it must be a Caesar salad.

One of my childhood friends had the habit of carrying Cheerios in a particular container.  His little sister had the habit of sticking her tiny toddler hand into that cup for a snack.

One day the little boy was carrying his Cheerio cup.  Except it wasn’t full of cereal.  It was full of beetles.  How unfortunate for his little sister when she tried to sneak a treat.

Eating a tomato on a salad in the dead of winter is kind of like that.  Having come from a history of fresh-tomato-and-mayonnaise sandwiches, the guttural disgust experienced when biting into a cold, styrofoam-like, dish-sponge entity that is an out-of-season tomato is something that ought only be experienced one time.

So what’s a Branny to do all those months when the Omnivore is begging for roughage and hinting for salads?

Eat only Caesar Salad. Yes.  Perhaps the only instance in which a lone plate of romaine lettuce is acceptable as a salad (without the other necessary salad accouterments that generally accompany lettuce).  How is it that Caesar salads are able to slip by the culinary radar — lettuce only?  And this is the “salad” you’re serving me?  But it does a great job at it!  Who doesn’t love Caesar salad?

Oh, poor vegetarians of the world, though. Perhaps the exact individuals upon whom salads are pushed most often cannot enjoy the simple pleasure of a Caesar salad in winter.  And thus they must settle for the crime that is eating off-season tomatoes.  Until now.

One Year Ago: Pineapple Black Bean Enchiladas

Vegan Caesar Dressing (adapted from The Nutritional Yeast Cookbook)
3 T nutritional yeast
2 T tahini
1 T + 1.5 t Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 T lemon juice
1 T soy sauce
1/3 cup water

Combine in a food processor or blender.

No raw eggs.  No meat.  Amazingly similar to the true Caesar.  I was proud of this one, folks.  I gloated, per my usual m.o., to the Omnivore.  Unfortunately for him, in my need to justify the feat I’d just completed, I had to divulge the usual ingredients of raw eggs and sardines that traditionally invade his Caesar salads.

As a result, even though he might be as big of a tomato-purist as I am, he’s much more loyal to his anti-seafood eating ways.  So, this winter, he’ll be eating dish-sponge tomatoes and I’ll be eating Caesar salad.

*for a Parmesan cheese-like garnish, lightly toast sheets of nori and place them on your salad*

3 Comments leave one →
  1. mama permalink
    March 7, 2010 12:26 pm

    love your logic. how did you get so smart??

  2. March 7, 2010 1:23 pm

    I can’t wait to try this. I’ve only made the vegan caesar from veganomicon (with silken tofu, capers, and ground almonds) and I’m excited to see how the flavor compares to this version!

  3. March 7, 2010 2:20 pm

    Looks and sounds delicious! Love caesar!!

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