Raw, Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing
December 14, 2010

Raw, Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing | The Full Helping

Why, hello there.

My lord, it feels good to be back. I think I often underestimate how much I love writing this blog. I love food, and I love to share food with others, but it goes so far beyond that. Blogging allows me to reflect on my actions and thoughts, to shape my experiences into a narrative that I can understand, and to seek out a sense of communion with you, my readers. Having always put myself in the editor’s role, blogging appears to have turned me into a writer—or at least, a person who loves to write. Who knew?

Sorry to have been MIA for a few days. For the next week or two, I’ll be dealing with some pretty seismic life change—which is scary and big and great, and I’ll write about soon—but for now, I simply ask that you forgive me if I seem a little distracted. My head is being tugged in a lot of directions, but my heart is always close to this blog.

As I attempt to juggle the ups and downs of an emotional week, I’m seeking refuge in one thing I know will always offer me a sense of stability: the joy of creating and writing about food. How funny it seems to me that, once upon a time, food was a source of tension and strife in my life: nowadays, being in the kitchen is my favorite way to regain my bearings. And what food could be nearer or dearer to me than—you guessed it—salad? It’s my favorite meal of all, and last week, I created a new salad and dressing that are already destined to be eaten and enjoyed again and again. It’s raw, vegan caesar salad, and it’s delicious.

There was a time not so long ago when I assumed that I Caesar salad and I would never meet again. I was a new vegan, and I didn’t know all of the inns and outs, but I did know that eggs and parmesan were not on the menu. Besides that, my memories of Caesar salad were mostly limited to my own sadness that anyone would smother crisp, fresh romaine in heaps of dressing that was often no better than mayo. Little did I know then that there are a million recipes for vegan Caesar out there—raw and cooked—and tons of substitutes for the ingredients that give Caesar salad its taste. With a little nooch, a little seaweed, and some nuts, raw, vegan Caesar is as easy as pie, and I happen to think it’s even tastier. Try this dressing, and tell me if you don’t agree.

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Raw, Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing
Recipe Type: dressing, dip, sauce
Cuisine: vegan, gluten free, soy free, no oil
Author: Gena Hamshaw
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1 generous cup
Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours and drained
  • 2 tablespoons shelled hemp seeds (substitute raw sunflower seeds)
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kelp or dulse granules
  • 1/2 cup water
Instructions
  1. Blend all ingredients together in a high speed blender till smooth. If the dressing is a little thick, add water by the tablespoon until it has reached the consistency you like.
Notes
Leftover dressing will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge.

Raw, Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing | The Full Helping

I kicked up traditional Caesar (which is basically romaine, and nothing more) with some cherry tomatoes, fennel, avocado, and celery. It rocked my world:

Raw, Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing | The Full Helping

Sprinkling a little more nutritional yeast on top—just to mimic the parmesan in regular Caesar—made it all the tastier:

Raw, Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing | The Full Helping

It’s a truly delicious salad, and a hearty one, too. The dressing itself could also work as a dip, sauce, or sandwich spread—the possibilities are endless! In fact, tomorrow’s post will show you another way to make the dressing sing. I’ve seen raw Caesar recipes on the web for ages now, and can’t imagine why I didn’t try my own sooner. I love this salad, and hope you will, too.

On that note, friends, I bid you a very tired au revoir. I’ll be back here tomorrow with more salad and more appreciation for the joys of writing about food.

xo

Categories: Dressings

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    51 Comments
  1. I make a cooked one all the time. It’s my favorite dressing.
    I make it with vegenaise, mustard, lemon juice, vegan worcestershire sauce (Or soysauce+kelp powder), garlic powder, and lots of pepper and nooch, and sometimes some dill.
    I’ll definitely have to try it raw!

  2. Oh, how I have missed Caesar dressing!! Thankyouthankyouthankyou!
    Could something else be subbed for the celery? Thanks!

  3. hey love, hope all is well. just wanted to drop a comment to say hi and tell you that i always look forward to your posts and its definitely apparent how much you love writing. your passion always shines through.
    are you possibly moving?!? i cant imagine a gena not on the UWS?!?

  4. No apologies needed girl! We have been MIA a lot this past few days/weeks. Since we just did a life changing move!!! We are running around like mad women over here LOL

    I wish you all the best!! HUGS

    The Twins

  5. I have to admit, I envy your blogging voice, Gena! You make the simpliest salad recipe post sounds truly worth reading. (Not that a raw ceasar salad dressing doesn’t sounds truly delicious.) More than just for delicious recipes, it’s your choice of words and the way you connect with your readers that always makes me come back here. Continue your great work! And wish you the best with the “pretty seismic life change”.

  6. Good luck with those big life changes!!

    I love caesar salad, and I was pretty excited to discover raw and vegan versions a few years ago. I find pine nuts give the best flavour, but tahini is nice too.

  7. lovely! i am so with you. i am not a big fan of drenching my salads in dressing and i absolutely loathed getting salads smothered in it, especially caesar dressing! i’m so excited about this! thanks, gena!

  8. Missed you too: I enjoy your sharing and your limpid writing style combined with passionate spirit so much.

    This sounds like a lovely salad, ‘caesar’ or not! (One of my little observations from living surrounded by ‘standard’ (and often unadventurous) eaters is that food can’t just be a vibrant combination of in-season items: it has to be a known thing, _with a name_!)

    I put up a blog a couple days ago trying to make some ground rules for nutritional research and experimentation, and have been inviting comments from people who are clued in about that kind of thing. I’d be so honored if you’d take a look and chime in. It’s at:
    http://ulteriorharmony.blogspot.com/2010/12/conversation-about-ground-rules-for.html

    Thanks again! And all the best of goodness in the transitions you’re undergoing: I hope it’s all to the good and best.
    love
    Ela

  9. thank you for that, I will be making this salad soon. It will be my first time making something with nutritional yeast. Well, I am a newbie. 🙂

  10. you just reminded me that it’s been years since i’ve had caesar salad of any kind. this recipe looks great.

    re: “seismic life change” – i hope everything goes well!

  11. This looks delicious, and it is always fun to try a new ingredient- like kelp granules. The last “new” ingredient I’ve tried thanks to you is chick pea flour, and just last night I again made your delicious sweet potato burgers, and as I was pouring the chick pea flour, I was thinking “I wish Jenna would invent a vegan socca pizza” mostly because I have never made socca. Looked it up on Mark Bittman’s site, because he makes everything- but have not yet tried. Socca 101?

  12. Caesar salad yum!!! I can’t wait to make that dressing,but I don’t have a kitchen right now…
    Best of luck to you with your changes!!

  13. Hope things flow well for you Gena.
    I also find writing my blog has created even more excitement, passion and exploration of food for me, and like you, a therapeutic sharing experience.
    Yum recipe! I don’t love how cashews make me feel but I will try this with pine nuts I think!

  14. Best wishes in whatever you are going through!

    I am definitely going to make this tonight! I’ve been wanting to make a new dressing and I have all the ingredients for this. I don’t have kelp but I do have dulse or nori. I assume dulse might work the same, no?

  15. Best of wishes to all your crazy life changes! I hope you stay in NYC though–I might be interning there this summer, and would love a chance to meet up! Even if it’s not in your cards, good luck!

    Caesar dressing is like ranch’s classier older sister. Love that stuff! This looks like a great alternative. I don’t have any kelp though–would dulse flakes be any kind of substitute?

    Oh, and are the whispy white things on your salad the fennel? I’ve never seen it prepared but uncooked before.

  16. If you write a book one day (and I hope you will because I love your writing!), would you give me an autographed copy?? hehe
    Do you know they say Caesar salad was first made in Mexico? I don’t know if it’s true though.
    xoxo
    Lola

      • Modest as you are, Gena, your prose is most definitely book worthy…so eager to read your first book!

        All the best with your life transition challenges.

  17. This is one of those cases where I never liked a regular caesar so i don’t miss it but I think I would like the raw version. I wonder if another seaweed would work for the ocean flavor. BTW, i don’t think seaweed tastes much like fish but that is GOOD thing IMO.

    I am wishing you well on your major upheaval. And appreciate your taking the time to blog through it all. HUGS for ya.

  18. I feel the same way about blogging as you do. And you 100% are a writer, and a damn good one at that!

    I’m-a gonna try this salad dressing too. I’m-a fighting the urge to say “nom nom” here. I don’t want to have to punch myself in the face.

  19. Oh Gena, THANK YOU!!!
    I have missed Caesar dearly, and hadn’t bothered looking for a vegan version (much less a raw one) – I just assumed it was gone forever, much like beef jerky and cheeseburgers (not a fan of the analogs). But this, THIS I can make friends with. Thank you sooo much. 🙂

    One question, though, the measurement for the Kelp Granules is missing – is that 1 tsp? or 1/2?

    Gratias ago vos, Gena.

  20. What suspense… I do hope it is great, you deserve great. Enjoy your salad, take a couple downward dogs, and update us soon!
    No major life changes around here, but I have recently joined a hot yoga studio and loving it! Coconut water is a necessity after each class for electrolytes, and I’ve found a brand of coconut water 5x better than the rest: taste nirvana. It’s amazing! I’m almost sketched out by how good it is, because I don’t know how the same single ingredient (coconut water) can taste so different. But it does!

  21. What suspense… I do hope it is great, you deserve great. Enjoy your salad, take a couple downward dogs, and update us soon!
    No major life changes around here, but I have recently joined a hot yoga studio and loving it! Coconut water is a necessity after each class for electrolytes, and I’ve found a brand of coconut water 10x better than the rest: taste nirvana. It’s amazing! I’m almost sketched out by how good it is, because I don’t know how the same single ingredient (coconut water) can taste so different. But it does!

  22. “For the next week or two, I’ll be dealing with some pretty seismic life change—which is scary and big and great”

    Ok well I wish you nothing but the best outcome and during the process, lots of peace and calmness!

    Writing my blog, for me too, helps me order my days, my life, make sense of things..and so even tho I gave myself permission to not blog while I am on vacay, I actually have been enjoying my blog more here, b/c I dont feel stressed by it…just renewed in that writing it gives me structure and connection and all that jazz that you alluded to, too.

    Cesar dressing…nice work! And i like that you noted you can use all cashews if you dont have hemp seeds. I think it’s important to give modifications like that b/c not all ppl have easy or affordable access to all types of ingredients. Random sidebar, but I like that little notation of yours.

    Take care of YOU, miss Gena!

    🙂