Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Creamy Cashew Dressing
This salad is bursting with savory, umami flavors, just like a classic Caesar salad! It has creaminess from a homemade cashew Caesar dressing and makes a well-balanced meal with miso-roasted chickpeas and croutons.
1headromaine lettucecut into bite-sized pieces (10-12 ounces romaine leaves)
½cupfresh grated Parmesan
1largelemon wedgescut into wedges
freshly ground black pepperto taste
Cashew Caesar Dressing
*You can skip this step if using a strong blender*. In a heat-safe bowl, cover the cashews with an inch of boiling water. Let sit for 10 minutes. Alternatively, cover with cool water and soak overnight.
To a blender add the drained cashews, garlic, olive oil, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, and ¼ cup water. Blend until smooth and creamy. This will take 1-2 minutes depending on the strength of your blender. Add up to an additional ¼ cup of water as needed to thin the dressing.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Add chickpeas to a medium baking sheet. Pat chickpeas dry with a paper towel or kitchen towel. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Use clean hands or a spatula to combine.
Roast at 400F on the middle oven rack for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the torn bread to the baking sheet.
In a small bowl, whisk together the miso and melted vegan butter. Drizzle over the chickpeas and bread, tossing to combine.
Return to the oven to bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. The croutons are ready when crispy and golden. The chickpeas will be crunchy and dried out. Sprinkle the chickpeas and croutons with 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast.
For one large salad: Add romaine to a large serving bowl. Drizzle with all of the Caesar dressing, tossing to coat. Add the croutons, chickpeas, and freshly grated Parmesan. Garnish each serving with additional Parmesan, a lemon wedge, and freshly ground black pepper.
For individual salads: Serve each salad with freshly grated Parmesan, a lemon wedge, and black pepper. Enjoy!
Cashews: Soaking the cashews softens them and makes them easier to blend. Soak cashews in boiling water from a kettle (or on the stove) for just 10-15 minutes or in cool water overnight. The longer they are soaked the easier they will be to blend.
Leftovers: I recommend assembling the salads as you are ready to eat them to prevent the lettuce from getting soggy. The dressing keeps for up to a week in the fridge. The crispy chickpeas and croutons are best if eaten in 3-4 days. Re-crisp in a skillet or air-fryer.
Time-saving tips: Use pre-cut romaine lettuce and store-bought croutons to cut down on time. The dressing can be made in advance and frozen. When ready to use, let thaw at room temperature overnight.