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Course: Sides & Salads
Keyword: Appetizers, Condiments, Healthy, No Guilt Caesar Salad and Dressing, Sauces, Vegetarian, Weeknight Dinner

No Guilt Caesar Salad and Dressing

No-Guilt Caesar Salad plated in a white bowl on top of a blue patterned tablecloth.
ACTIVE TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 30 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
Most creamy Caesar dressings get that consistency from, well, cream, sour cream, or mayo. This egg-free recipe gets it from tofu, which is almost 100 percent protein and is essentially fat-free. So...eat up.
This recipe first appeared in Season 3 of Good Eats.
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SALAD DRESSING

  • 2 ounces Parmesan Cheese, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces silken soft tofu
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

SALAD

  • 8 ounces day-old Italian bread, approximately half a loaf
  • 3 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 heads romaine lettuce hearts, approximately 1 pound
  • 1/2 cup No Guilt Caesar Dressing
  • 2 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Specialized Hardware

  • Blender
  • Mortar and pestle
  • Fine-mesh sieve
No-Guilt Caesar Salad plated in a white bowl on top of a blue patterned tablecloth.
ACTIVE TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 30 minutes
Yield: 8 servings

Procedure

Make the Dressing

  • Starting on the lowest speed, chop the cheese cubes in a blender until it settles into the bottom of the carafe, gradually increasing the speed. Add the garlic and chop until minced.
  • Add the mustard, white wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and tofu to the blender and blend until smooth. While the blender is running, drizzle the olive oil down the middle of the vortex that has formed. Keep adding oil until the mixture reaches salad dressing consistency — you may not use all of the oil.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Assemble the Salad

  • Heat oven to 350ºF. Cut the bread into 3/4-inch cubes and spread on a half-sheet pan. Bake until thoroughly dry but not brown, 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Combine the garlic and the salt in a mortar and mash with the pestle to make a paste. Add the oil to the paste and mash to combine. Pour the oil through a fine-mesh sieve into a 12-inch saute pan. Place the pan over medium heat. Add the croutons and saute, tossing constantly until the oil is absorbed and the croutons turn gold, approximately 5 minutes. Set aside.
  • In a very large bowl, tear the lettuce and toss, using tongs, with the dressing. Toss in the Parmesan cheese and serve topped with croutons.
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