Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Et Tu Brute?

Last night I made the bitchinest Vegan Caesar Salad for dinner.  I think my man thinks I'm trying to seduce him with food and pull one over on him.  Maybe I yam.  he. he. he.

I scored this recipe from 101 cookbooks.  A blog with the loveliest food presentation I've seen in a while.  I swear to gawd this dude does photographs for Whole Foods ad's or some shit.  He's got a really cool feature on his site where you can make your own cookbook.  Neato burrito huh?  Haven't tried it yet but I can't wait to.

Anywho, dude-bro-dude stole (borrowed, amended, what-have-you) this recipe from Veganomicon.  I regret to say I have not read the book myself but I hear it's awesome.  And if the following recipe is a testament to that - I'm sold.  Like a $2 hooker on pay-day.

Vegan Caesar Salad Recipe

Caesar dressing:
1/3 cup slivered or sliced almonds
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
3/4 cup silken tofu
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 heaping tablespoon capers
4 teaspoons caper brine
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
Salt - I had to ad a bit of water to my dressing to make it dressing-like.

1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves roasted garlic
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 medium size loaf French or Italian bread (little less than 1 pound), stale and torn or sliced into bite-sized pieces 
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large head romaing lettuce, chopped
Freshly cracked black pepper
Handful or two of spinach and/or arugula, torn into bite-sized pieces (optional) - I used a handful of spinach for iron.

Prepare the dressing: Pulse the sliced almonds in a food processor or blender until crumbly. Empty the ground almonds into an airtight container that you'll be using to store the finished dressing.  Blend the garlic, tofu, and oil in the food processor or belnder until creamy.  Add the lemon juice, capers, caper brine, sugar, and mustard powder, and pulse until blended.  Adjust the salt and lemon juice to taste.  Put into the container with the ground almonds and whisk to combine.  Cover and allow the dressing to chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes, optimally 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

While the dressing is chilling, prepare the croutons: Preheat the oven to 400F. Combine the olive oil, roasted garlic, and lemon juice in a large bowl.  With a fork or immersion blender, mash orblend the mixture until creamy.  Add the torn bread and toss to coat each piece with the oil mixture.  Spread onto a rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle with salt, if desired, and bake for 12 to 14 minutes until golden brown.  Toss the croutons twice (or thrice) during the baking process.  Remove from the oven and cool the croutons on the baking sheet.

To assemble the salad, place in a large bowl 2 to 3 cups of lettuce/greens per individual serving (amount depending on whether it's a side or an entree).  Ladle on 1/3 cup of the dressing (or more or less to taste), and use kitchen tongs to toss the greens and coat them with dressing. Add the warm croutons, toss again, and transfer to a serving dish.  Sprinkle with a little freshly cracked pepper.  (I added a little diced Boca chicken patty on top as well)(If you use those BE CAREFUL to get the vegan ones - some have egg whites in them).  If not serving right away, warm croutons in 300F oven for 5 to 8 minutes before adding to the salad.

Serves 4 to 6 as a side, 2 to 3 as a main dish.

Love you, mean it


all pictures amended from 101 cookbooks.