For the dressing
- ½ cup whole raw almonds
- 1 whole head garlic, for roasting, plus ½ clove garlic, minced (optional)
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt, to taste
- ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the salad
- 2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped, or a mix of romaine and destemmed torn kale leaves (about 10 cups)
For the Croutons
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 2 tablespoons chopped sweet onion
- 2 tablespoons packed fresh parsley, or 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 2 tablespoons packed fresh basil, or 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, or ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt, or to taste
- Herbamare, for sprinkling on top
- Make the Dressing: Place the almonds in a bowl and add enough water to cover. Soak the almonds for at least 12 hours, or overnight. Drain and rinse the almonds. Pop off the skins by pressing the base of each almond between your thumb and forefinger. (Removing the skins yields a smoother dressing, but it’s not absolutely essential.)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
- Cut off the top of the garlic head so all of the raw cloves are exposed. Remove any loose skin. Wrap the head in foil and place it on a baking sheet. Roast the garlic for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cloves are soft and golden. Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes, until cool enough to handle. Remove the foil and squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins and into a food processor.
- Add the soaked almonds, oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt, dry mustard, pepper, and ¼ cup water to the food processor and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed. Add the minced raw garlic if you’d like the dressing to have a more intense garlic flavor – otherwise, leave it out.
- To make the croutons,
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, combine the flaxseed, oil, and 2 tablespoons water and stir. Set aside for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened.
- In a food processor, pulse the garlic to mince it. Add the almonds and process until finely chopped. Add the onion, parsley, basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, salt, and flaxseed mixture and process until a sticky ball of dough forms.
- With your fingers, sprinkle small portions of the crouton dough onto the prepared baking sheet, using roughly ½ teaspoon of dough per crouton. Place the croutons 1 inch apart on the baking sheet and sprinkle with Herbamare.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then gently flip the croutons and bake for 10-15 minutes more, until golden. Watch the croutons closely near the end of the baking time to make sure they don’t burn.
- Let the croutons cool on the pan for 10 minutes. They will firm up while cooling. Cool the croutons completely and store in an airtight glass jar for 2 to 4 weeks.
- Place the lettuce in a large salad bowl and pour your desired amount of dressing on top. Toss until fully coated. Sprinkle the Nutty Herb Croutons over the salad just before serving.
From The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out by Angela Liddon. Copyright © Angela Liddon, 2014. Reprinted by permission of Penguin Canada Books Inc.
Keywords: vegan caesar salad