Caesar-y Salad

Most people would call it blasphemy to leave out the cheese, oil, eggs and anchovies in Caesar dressing, but this concerns me less than living life without any type of Caesar dressing at all. This creamy, garlicky, and healthy Caesar-y Salad is just the ticket!

I have omitted croutons from this recipe since they are usually prepared with salt and oil, but if you'd like to replace them with something else hearty, try adding still-warm diced potatoes that have been seasoned and roasted.

A fun technique for adding a little faux Parmesan cheese is to use a few walnuts in a rotary cheese grater, which adds a touch of richness to the top of the salad. For thick faux cheese shavings, peel some of the white flesh of a jicama into your salad.


1/2 cup water

1/3 cup raw, unsalted cashews (2 ounces)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons Dijon/stoneground mustard

1 tablespoon raisins

1-2 medium cloves fresh garlic, minced (2 if you're a real garlic lover)

1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs

1 large head Romaine lettuce

1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced, or 2 cups chopped tomatoes

Optional: 1 avocado, pitted and diced

1. Place all the dressing ingredients into a blender and set aside. Chop or tear the lettuce leaves into bite-sized pieces, and place into a large salad bowl with the diced red bell pepper or tomatoes, and avocado if using.

2. Blend the dressing ingredients until creamy. Pour half of the dressing over the salad and toss, adding more to your tastes (save any leftover dressing in the refrigerator for up to five days). Dressing is best added just before serving.

Preparation: 15 minutes

Serves: 4 (makes 1 cup dressing)