cheese-less caesar

“Iceberg lettuce?” many people ask.  Yes! It is crisp, refreshing and delicious paired with more vitamin-intense and sometimes bitter darker leafy greens, like the arugula here.  Another plus: this crunchy green encourages you to chew, which is essential for good digestion, absorption and metabolization.

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serves 4

INgredients

¼ head of iceberg lettuce

¼ bunch arugula

2 pink radishes

2 thick slices whole wheat challah bread

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2 Tablespoons EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

for the creamy vegan “Caesar” dressing  (makes about 1 cup)

Note: It is good to make this dressing a day before you serve it; this gives the flavors the opportunity to fully merge and emerge.

4 Tablespoons toasted sesame tahini

½ onion or shallot

juice of 2 lemons

2 teaspoons umeboshi plum paste

¼ cup spring or filtered water

Process   Wash the iceberg lettuce, arugula and radishes separately.  Drain them.  Chop the iceberg into inch-square pieces

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and place in a medium glass or ceramic bow. Chop the arugula into similar-sized pieces and place on top of the iceberg in the bowl.

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Remove the tough stem and root from the radish. Slice it in half lengthwise; then cut half-moons from each half.

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Halve each half-moon again so they are triangular pieces about the same size as the lettuce and arugula.

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Add them to the salad bowl.Make the dressing:  Mince the onion and place it and all other ingredients in a blender.  Blend well.   Pour on the salad

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and store the rest in a jar.  It will keep for up to a week in the fridge. Make the croutons:  Heat a cast iron or stainless steel skillet on a medium flame for about 2 minutes. Add the olive oil and add the bread. When it turns a golden brown color, turn it over and allow the other side to brown.

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Remove from pan and dredge on a brown paper bag.  Cut each piece of fried bread into 12-16 very small croutons.

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Place croutons on top of the dressed salad and toss.

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Serve on individual plates.

©Nancy Wolfson-Moche 2014