Vegan Caesar Salad with Tempeh Croutons, Roasted Peaches and Corn

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IMG_8625.jpgA bit on the state of things around here –
The kitchen renovations have been put off until October, and all I can say is that I’m very relieved. I knew that gutting the kitchen right after submitting the cookbook manuscript would be chaotic, but when it actually came down to it, I felt even more unprepared and exhausted than I ever expected. Not to mention, I still have a list of recipes to perfect for the book, which requires a fully working kitchen. Thankfully, our contractor – the only good one we could find after months of meetings and unreturned calls (because sometimes people in Florida are too chill) – is booked up two months in advance. A blessing in disguise, if I ever saw one. Among other things, I’m finding it painfully difficult to choose tile for the kitchen floor (Moroccan? Spanish? Mosaic? Forget the tile and do hard-wood?) and I’m really welcoming this extra time for making a decision.

I am still working on the staircase leading up to the kitchen, and if you follow us on snapchat (golubkakitchen), you’ve likely seen some snaps of that whole process. The stairs were covered in bad carpet by previous owners, and finally stripping off that dust magnet of a surface felt great. Re-finishing the wooden stairs underneath, however was a huge pain, and re-awakened my carpal tunnel, which started when I was working in the dental field. But at least the stairs are looking great.

Paloma goes back to school mid-August and turns eight around the same time too. We’re looking for a Beatles-related present (girl has serious Beatlemania), and the birthday cake will be an ice cream cake, which I will hopefully share here one of the coming Sundays.


I recently promised to do more salad posts, and since we are getting into the hottest part of the summer, salads are the key item at any given meal around these parts. And this Caesar, you guys! I’ve already made it several times since coming up with the entirely vegan Caesar dressing. The dressing is everything you want your salad leaves drenched in (and you will want to drench with this one, not just drizzle) – it’s garlicky, creamy and incredibly savory.

I aimed for a salad that can be eaten as a main course, and besides the addition of protein-rich beans in the dressing, there are crispy, golden tempeh ‘croutons’ that will fill you up nicely. Grilled peaches and corn contribute perfect little pockets of juice and sweetness here, and Laura’s pine nut parm is optional but very addictive. This Caesar is also easily adaptable to other seasons – instead of the peaches and corn, include roasted squash in the fall/winter, asparagus/peas in the spring, etc., etc.
It’s August! Take it easy and enjoy this last stretch of summer, perhaps even with some hearty Caesar in tow 😉

VEGAN CAESAR SALAD WITH TEMPEH CROUTONS, ROASTED PEACHES AND CORN
 
Serves: 6
INGREDIENTS
for the Caesar dressing
  • 1 cup cooked white beans, plus cooking liquid/liquid from can to achieve desired dressing consistency
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon capers
  • ½ teaspoon maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon sriracha
  • 1 garlic clove
  • sea salt – to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper – to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
for the salad
  • 4-6 corn ears
  • 2 tablespoons neutral coconut oil – divided
  • freshly ground black pepper – to taste
  • 3-6 ripe, sweet peaches – cut in half
  • 1 package tempeh – cubed
  • 1 medium bunch kale – stems removed, leaves cut into bite-sized pieces
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • sea salt – to taste
  • 1 small head Romaine lettuce – torn into bite-size pieces
  • pine nut Parmesan – optional
 
INSTRUCTIONS
to make the dressing

  1. Combine all the ingredients, with the exception of the cooking liquid and olive oil in an upright blender. Blend until smooth, adding in cooking liquid as needed to achieve the desired creamy salad dressing consistency. Add olive oil with the motor still running.
to make the salad

  1. Rub corn ears with 1 tablespon coconut oil, salt and black pepper and grill on an outdoor grill or under the broiler, watching and rotating the corn, until charred in places. Let cool slightly and cut kernels off the ears, set aside.
  2. Grill peaches on an outdoor grill or under the broiler until charred. Let cool and slice into wedges. Set aside.
  3. Warm the remaining 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a medium pan. Add tempeh cubes, sprinkle with salt and fry until golden and crispy. Set aside.
  4. Place kale in a large mixing bowl, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt, and massage until wilted. Add in torn Romaine lettuce. Pour the dressing over the greens and toss to coat. Distribute between bowls or plates, top with
    corn kernels, peach slices, tempeh croutons and sprinkle with pine nut Parmesan, if using.
 
 
 

Anya Kassoff
contributor
Anya Kassoff is the author of The Vibrant Table - Recipes from My Always Vegetarian, Mostly Vegan and Sometimes Raw Kitchen. She was born in Russia and grew up in a family of passionate home cooks. While following several career paths, one passion remained steady: she ended every day in the kitchen, perfecting her cooking intuition and gaining strong interest in whole foods-focused recipes. In 2010, Anya started sharing her healthy culinary discoveries on her blog, Golubka Kitchen, which has since gained a worldwide following. Her recipes have appeared on Oprah.com and Guardian.com. Golubka has been a finalist for Saveur magazine's Best Food Blog awards twice and was cited by Bon Appetit magazine as one of the best vegan and gluten-free blogs. Anya now lives in Florida with her husband and younger daughter. She works in collaboration with her older daughter, Masha Davydova, who photographs all of her recipes.