When I went in search of a dairy-, egg- and fish-free Caesar dressing, this version from Roberto Martin’s Vegan Cooking for Carnivores, topped my list over all others I tried. He’s the personal chef to Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, and his cookbook is indeed one of the best collections of vegan recipes I’ve found that you could actually serve to non-vegan friends and family, and have them licking their chops.
But back to the Caesar dressing: of course, I had to put my own lower-calorie spin on it by using reduced-fat Vegenaise (only 45 calories per tablespoon, and the best tasting vegan mayo on the market), but there are plenty of other cheaper – albeit not as tasty – vegan brands available at retailers like Whole Foods, Wegmans, Trader Joe’s and others, so feel free to experiment until you find one to your liking. In this recipe, the combination of capers, dijon mustard, Worcestershire and nutritional yeast (optional) come together to add that nice “tangy” flavor you want and remember from traditional Caesar. And it keeps for up to 2 weeks in the fridge, so you can make it in advance and have Caesar dressing on the fly any night of the week.
Note for my gluten-free readers: this recipe CAN be made totally gluten-free, if you use a brand of GF Worcestershire sauce like Wan Ja Shan or Robbie’s. Online prices vary, so shop around, and in this case avoid Amazon, as the last time I checked their 3rd-party-seller price for this particular product was stupid crazy. I was able to get one on sale for $3.99 a bottle from www.famousfoods.com, almost a third of Amazon’s price. Even though it cost me twice that amount in shipping, it still beat Amazon, and I don’t really care because – after all – how often am I going to go through a bottle of Worcestershire sauce, using it 1 or 2 teaspoons at a time for a few random recipes like this Caesar dressing? It’s not like I’m using it to ladel over steak or pork chops. Ever. So for $10, it will probably last me an entire year.
Juice of 2 lemons
3 garlic cloves, crushed
4 Tbsp capers, packed in brine
Dash of caper brine from jar
4 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (I use Robbie’s, which is also gluten-free)
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 to 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
1 1/2 cups vegan mayonnaise (I use reduced-fat Vegenaise for best flavor at half the calories)
1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
3 ounces high-quality, extra-virgin olive oil
Puree all ingredients in a high-speed blender. Serve immediately, or store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Hint: I always double the recipe to have enough on hand.