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Caesar Salad With a Vego Twist

Love Cos lettuce this time of year.  We’ve had a little bit of rain and a cool start to spring and the greens are very happy.  With Cos and eggs in abundance, my thoughts for the  Tuesday Night Vego Challenge this week turned to Caesar salad. There’s a reason that Caesar is a classic salad.  Bitterness of lettuce, creaminess of eggs, sourness in the dressing,  crunch of the croutons, the saltiness – beautiful fresh ingredients beautifully balanced. Traditionally the saltiness comes from anchovies, and if you are going for a meal without meat rather than vego, you can use anchovies. But pepitas sautéed in soy sauce work really well in a lot of recipes that want that little intense salty crunch.

There’s a nutritional balance in there too.  It’s not the lowest calorie of salads, but if you have really nice lettuce that makes up the bulk of it, you can afford croutons.

The Recipe:

This is a matter of preparing all the parts, then just putting them together. Makes two big dinner sized bowls.

The Croutons:

Turn the oven on to heat up to hot.

Use a mortar and pestle to crush one or two cloves of garlic in a pinch of salt.

Add a couple of dessertspoons of good olive oil and blend in the salty garlic.

Cut three or four slices of bread into little ½ inch (15 mm) cubes – enough to make a good cup full of croutons.  I use my heavy wholegrain bread and it works fine.  Toss the croutons in the garlic oil and spread on a baking tray.

Bake in a hot oven for about 10 minutes, tossing every so often, till they are brown and crunchy.

The Eggs:

Boil 3 eggs till they are just hard, drain, peel and chop into quarters.  If you start with cold water, they will take between 4 and 5 minutes from boiling, depending on the size of the eggs.  Eggs that are very fresh will be impossible to peel so choose your oldest eggs.

The Pepitas:

Mix two handfuls of pepitas with two teaspoons of soy sauce.  Dry roast them in a hot pan for just a few minutes, stirring all the time, till they just start to pop.

The Dressing:

Blend together

  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 2 dessertpoons olive oil
Pour into a small saucepan and cook for just a minute or so, stirring all the while, till it thickens.

To Assemble:

Tear a whole lot of Cos lettuce into bite sized pieces.  Add the dressing and use your hands to toss through.  Add the pepitas and croutons and toss again.  Then add the eggs and very gently toss them through too.
Serve into bowls.
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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • L from 500m2 in Sydney September 26, 2012, 7:04 pm

    Yum! I love Caesar salad, but the anchovies are a must for me.
    I’ve been having more luck recently with peeling fresh eggs. I’ve found that plunging them in icy water immediately after cooking them helps immensely.

  • Elaine coolowl September 26, 2012, 11:06 pm

    Caesar Salad is a favourite here too … she prefers Apple Cider Vinegar and I prefer Olive Oil as dressings. Eggs peel more readily if they have some age on them – it’s got to do with the inner membrane moving away from the shell in some fashion which allows the cooked white to be peeled cleanly.

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