Tahini caesar salad is a healthy vegetarian version of a classic caesar salad, with a tahini and lemon-based dressing and crunchy homemade breadcrumbs.To make the dressing vegan, omit the yogurt and cheese.
TAHINI CAESAR DRESSING:
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon plain yogurt (or plant-based yogurt)
- 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese (or a mixture of both), divided
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 small garlic clove
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin oil
- 2 thick slices crusty sourdough bread, cut into cubes (2 heaping cups)
- 12 ounces (2 or 3 heads) Little Gem lettuce or hearts of romaine, washed and dried
- To make the dressing, combine the tahni, lemon juice, garlic, 3 tablespoons olive oil, yogurt, 1/4 cheese, water, salt and cayenne pepper in a blender or mini food processor until smooth. (Makes about 1 cup).
- To make the breadcrumbs, heat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Spread the bread on a small baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Toss until evenly coated. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the bread is brown and crisp. When cool enough to handle, roughly chop the cubes on a cutting board or in a food processor to make pea-sized crumbs (or feel free to crumble with your hands if you want stress relief).
- Pull the green leaves off the lettuce and cut the inner core into wedges. If using romaine hearts, separate the leaves and tear into large bite-size pieces. Keep the inner core intact and cut into small wedges.
- Put the lettuce in a bowl or serving platter and toss with about 1/3 of the dressing. Sprinkle half the breadcrumbs and the remaining grated cheese over the salad. Serve with additional dressing and breadcrumbs on the side.
- To make a vegan salad, substitute a plant-based yogurt (such as coconut or cashew) for the dairy yogurt and an equal amount of nutritional yeast for the cheese.
- Extra dressing will keep up to a week refrigerated.