Vegan and Oil-free Caesar Dressing

Recipe by Katie Mae

Makes 1½ cups | Ready in 5 minutes | Stores up to 2 weeks in the fridge

INGREDIENTS

1 cup cashews
1 cup aquafaba AND/OR water*
2 Medjool dates, pitted
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons stoneground mustard
1 teaspoon miso (optional*)
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon garlic granules
1 tablespoon capers with 1 tablespoon brine (optional*)

ACTION STEPS

  1. In a blender, add all of the ingredients. Blend until creamy.
  2. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge until ready to use.

CHEF’S NOTES

If using a standard blender (not high-powered) soak the cashews for 4 to 8 hours before blending, making sure to strain and discard the soak water. Since soaked nuts are moister, you’ll need to add a little less liquid to the dressing.

If using the aquafaba (bean water) from a 14oz package of white beans, it’s about ¾ cup. Use ¼ cup water to make a full cup of liquid.
If you don’t have aquafaba, use all water—the dressing will be slightly less gelatinous, but still very creamy.

Miso and capers both contain salt. For less sodium, feel free to reduce the amount of either or leave them out completely.

Caesar dressing has a tang and sweetness that can be adjusted as you wish. For more or less tanginess, increase or decrease the amount of vinegar or lemon juice. To make it more or less sweet, increase or decrease the amount of dates.

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THE STORY

There’s no question that Caesar salad is a classic! Its stood the test of time and still a favorite across the world, because of it’s rich flavor. What makes the salad even more appealing, is that people think it’s healthy, simply because it’s a salad.

The reality is that most Caesar salads are not health-promoting. Aside from being topped with lots of parmesan and possibly grilled chicken, both of which promote chronic disease, the leafy greens are coated in a decadent dressing.

In fact, what makes a Caesar salad so popular is certainly the tangy, salty, and umami-rich caesar dressing! A typical Caesar dressing contains anchovies, eggs, oil, mayonnaise, and more parmesan—yikes!

Those are not ingredients I want to be putting in my body, but like so many, I do enjoy the unique flavor of this dressing.

Fortunately, with a few savvy switches, we can turn this heart-stopping dressing into a creamy, compassionate condiment!

As you can imagine the most challenging part is how to get the savory, umami flavor without using anchovies. I think you’ll be pleased with the plant-based alternative we use here.

Plus, it’s super easy to make—just add all the ingredients to a blender, and voila! It’s time to enjoy a delicious vegan and oil-free Caesar salad!

If you’re wondering, we topped our salad with cherry tomatoes, grated walnuts instead of parmesan, and our cheezy, crispy tempeh croutons!

I know, I know… I’m excited about them, too! The Tempeh Crouton recipe is coming soon!

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