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  • Writer's pictureSoyfoodscouncil

Veggie Planet Caesar Salad

his recipe comes courtesy of Didi Emmons, chef at Veggie Planet in Boston, and cookbook author. According to Didi, some people would rather eat worms than tofu and it is exactly those folks who should try this salad. Tofu makes two appearances; the croutons are cubes of tofu that have been pan-fried until they’re crunchy, and the dressing is thickened with tofu. The dish requires no last minute preparation. The croutons can be made up to 3 hours before serving, the dressing up to 3 days before. The lettuce and tomatoes can be cut, washed and stored in the fridge up to 24 hours before serving.

Tofu Caesar Dressing Ingredients 3 garlic cloves, preferably large

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 1/4 cups cubed firm tofu

1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1 lemon)

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Tofu Croutons Ingredients 8 ounces water-packed extra-firm tofu3

tablespoons vegetable oil

Salt to taste

Salad Ingredients 1 head romaine lettuce

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

1 cup pitted kalamata olives

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions To prepare the dressing, in a food processor or blender, puree the garlic, mustard, tofu, and lemon juice. Add the salt and pepper. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil, in a stream. When the dressing is fully emulsified, stir in the Parmesan cheese. To prepare the croutons, press the tofu with a paper towel. Cut it into 1/2-inch cubes. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is really hot (I like to wait for it to smoke), add the tofu carefully and salt it liberally. Fry the cubes of tofu undisturbed until they form a dark golden crust on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Then use a spatula to turn them and brown them well on at least one more side. Drain well on paper towels. Keep the croutons at room temperature and 15 minutes before serving put them in a warm oven (220 degrees) for up to 3 hours if desired. To prepare salad, cut across the romaine in 2-inch strips, discarding the core. Immerse the lettuce in a large bowl of cold water and let sit for 5 minutes. Spin the salad dry or let it drain in a colander. When ready to serve, combine the lettuce, the tomatoes, croutons, and olives in a large bowl. Add the cheese and the dressing, tossing well with tongs or spoons. Serve immediately. Yield: 6 servings

Notes CALORIES 545 (41% from fat); FAT 25g (sat 7.6g, mono 9.1g, poly fat 6.2g); PROTEIN 12g; CARBOHYDRATE 12.7g; FIBER 2.8g; CHOLESTEROL 6mg; IRON 1.4mg; SODIUM 949mg; CALCIUM 20mg;

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