Caesar salad is one of the most popular salads in North America. Traditionally the salad dressing has dairy, eggs, and anchovies in it, but don’t worry this version of the classic is so good you won’t even notice it’s plant-based! While kale and tomatoes are not traditionally in a Caesar salad, we think they definitely add another flavor layer and work very nicely with the tempeh bacon bits. You will need a blender for this recipe. Cashews are a fairly soft nut and will get even more softened when you soak them in hot water, so you can get away with using a regular blender. If you have a magic bullet or a ninja these will do the job fast and easy.

Makes 2 large entree salads or 4 small salads

For the dressing:

  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews
  • 1 teaspoon white or rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon capers, drained
  • 1 chopped clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • salt to taste

Boil water and soak cashews for 10-15 minutes. After the time has passed, put cashews with the water they have been soaking in into a blender, add in the rest of the ingredients except for capers and blend until smooth. Add the capers and blend for another few seconds. Taste and add a pinch of salt if necessary. If not using right away, store in a tight lid container and put in the fridge. It lasts up to 3 days.

For the bacon bits:

  • 125 grams of tempeh
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • few drops of liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • salt to taste
  • oil for pan

Place tempeh in a saucepan and cover with water, put a lid on and bring to boil. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Doing this gets rid of bitterness. After 10 minutes, take tempeh out of the water and let cool. Combine the soy sauce, liquid smoke, maple syrup and smoked paprika, and add a pinch of salt if you like. Crumble the tempeh with your hands to make tiny bits in a bowl and add in the marinade ingredients. Let stand for 10-15 minutes. Add a little bit of oil to the pan and once it’s hot add the tempeh and fry on medium-high heat for about 7-10 minutes or until they look crispy and browned. Transfer to a plate. Can be stored in a fridge for up to a week.

To assemble the salad:

  • 1 head of romaine lettuce
  • 4 large leaves of green kale
  • half a pint of cherry tomatoes
  • baguette or ciabatta bread
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt to taste

Wash romaine lettuce and kale, then let dry, either by using a salad spinner or leaving to dry on a dish rack. In a small bowl, add the olive oil, garlic powder, salt and mix well. Brush bread generously with the olive oil mixture and place on a hot griddle pan for a few minutes, turning once. Chop the lettuce, kale and cherry tomatoes, then put in a large bowl and toss with dressing and top with tempeh bacon bits. Enjoy!