Shortly after becoming a vegetarian, I was on a search for the perfect creamy Caesar salad. After much testing, I hit across a dressing that has never been matched in my experience since. It’s been a staple on my menu for over 20 years and a favorite with my dinner guests.
But even the best salads can be dressed up for some extra gourmet flare, without adding much additional fuss. My [highlight]classic vegetarian Caesar[/highlight] will likely always remain my favorite, but this version is now a special on the menu.
Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Toasted Nuts
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup walnut pieces
- 1/2 cup pecan piece
- 1 large bunch Romaine lettuce
- 3 – 4 tablespoons lemon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
- 2 small cloves garlic, crushed or minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- 2/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
Toast the nuts in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until lightly browned. Meanwhile, wash the lettuce and break into pieces.
To make the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, mayonnaise and black pepper. Add the Parmesan cheese and whisk for another minute. This may be made ahead of time and refrigerated in an air-tight container or jar until ready to use.
Toss the Romaine leaves with the toasted nuts and dressing.
Consider tossing in some croutons, such as these [highlight]homemade polenta croutons[/highlight]. Serve with some crusty bread for a delightful and satisfying warm weather meal.