Caesar-y Salad

Prep: 15 minutes

Serves:4-6

By Cathy Fisher
Caesar salad is traditionally made with many ingredients that are not particularly health-promoting, including eggs, cheese, oil, salt, anchovies, and oil-baked croutons. The recipe below goes to show you that you can still enjoy the tangy, sweet flavors of this beloved salad in good health.

Ingredients

  • Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 1/2 ounces unsalted cashews (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp mustard (I like Dijon or stoneground)
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • 1 medium clove garlic finely chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon granulated)
  • 1 tsp dried Italian herbs
  • Salad:
  • 1 large head romaine lettuce, coarsely chopped (about 3/4 pound)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 avocado, chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted cashews or walnuts for garnish (optional; see Notes)
  • freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

Place the dressing ingredients into a small bowl and set aside for at least 15 minutes (so the cashews can soften).

Place the lettuce, bell pepper, and avocado (if using) into a large salad bowl.

Transfer the dressing ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour half of the dressing over the salad and toss, adding more dressing to your taste (save any leftover dressing in the refrigerator for up to five days). Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.

Notes: To achieve a finely grated Parmesan cheese look, use a rotary cheese grater to add a dusting of walnuts or cashews to the top of each salad. When tomatoes are in season I will often use 2 cups of halved cherry tomatoes instead of the red bell pepper.