My in-laws make the best caesar salad dressing…it’s creamy, garlicky, lemony, and just perfect on that crispy romaine. We make it a lot ourselves in the summer and I wanted to try a vegan version that was similar in taste and texture for people who can’t or choose not to eat eggs, dairy, or anchovies. I had no idea there were anchovies in Worcestershire sauce, did you!?
I also wanted to experiment with Miso because sometimes I like to pick a random new ingredient and see where it takes me. First I tried a Miso tahini salad dressing recipe I found online and it was pretty darn good. While we were eating it, my husband said he “felt like” he was eating caesar salad because of the texture of the dressing, and I was like..BING!… new recipe idea! And thus, this dressing was born.
Lets talk about miso because I know I was like, what the heck is miso!? Miso is an ancient Japanese food/condiment/seasoner made from fermented soybeans. It’s almost like a paste, and is extremely salty, and therefore not recommended to be eaten plain. It’s most commonly known for it’s use in miso soup, which I loveeee getting at Japanese restaurants, and it’s becoming more popular in other types of food like sauces, salad dressings, and marinades lately, perhaps due to the the new recognition of the benefits of fermented food.
The fermentation process involved in making miso breaks down the oils, carbohydrates, and proteins in the soybeans into an easier to digest form that also makes it easier for your body to take in the nutrients it provides. Fermentation also increases the good bacteria that we need in our gut for proper digestion and maintaining a healthy immune system.
It’s also a complete source of protein and a good source of dietary fibre, containing a high amount of antioxidants and vitamins. Several studies have shown benefits in terms of reduced risk of cancer and other diseases from regular intake of miso. Stay tuned for a miso soup recipe because this girl is sold on the miso perks.
Homemade croutons are a must in my books. I hate those super hard store bought things that scrape the top of your mouth raw. No thanks! Making them fresh allows you to control the crispy-ness to your preference and season them however you like. Trust me, you won’t be going back to those boxes after you try these. Also… a box of croutons is a huge rip off, just saying.
- 4 cups chopped romaine Leaves, washed and dried
- 4 cups chopped kale leaves, washed and dried
- For Dressing:
- 1 tablespoon miso
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ cup tahini
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons warm water
- ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
- fresh cracked pepper, a generous pinch, to taste
- For croutons:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2-3 slices of sprouted grain bread (I use Silver Hills Bakery)
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon seasoning salt
- pinch of ground pepper
- Prep romaine and kale and place in a large salad bowl.
- To make dressing, combine miso, lemon juice, tahini, garlic cloves, nutritional yeast, water, mustard and cracked pepper in a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper
- To make the croutons: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Dice the bread into ½-1 inch pieces and add to the skillet
- Sprinkle the garlic powder, seasoning salt, and pepper over the bread and toss the bread cubes so they are evenly coated with seasoning and oil.
- Let them cook until crispy on one side, then flip and let the other side crisp up (about 2-3 minutes per side).
- Poor the dressing on and toss well (you may have some leftover dressing, depending on your preference).
- Top with warm croutons and a fresh squeeze of lemon juice, if preferred