Guilt-Free Caesar Dressing

March 4, 2011

KITCHEN

Caesar Salad
Photo via Tyler Florence

The MINUTE it starts to warm up I abandon all thoughts of warm food. Interesting and delicious salads rule my menus and by the middle of the summer my oven might as well have cobwebs on it for all of the NO USE it gets.

But, let’s face it. Salads are not always inspiring. Between feeling like we NEED to diet (after all, warm weather means bathing suit season) and then being forced to eat tasteless dressings for the sake of calories the salad gets the raw end of the stick.

Oh, look. A food pun.

I stumbled across this caesar dressing recipe in 2004 and it has transformed my view of the potential a salad can have. First of all it’s GOOD FOR YOU. Instead of the traditional egg to provide the creamy emulsion, it uses silky tofu.

Don’t run away. I promise it’s good. And I am NOT a tofu kind of girl.

All the other traditional, bold flavors you come to expect in a great caesar are here. In spades. Throw in some grilled chicken, or better yet some grilled shrimp, grab a crisp glass of wine and head outside. Simple, good and HEALTHY.

NO GUILT CAESAR
Courtesy of Alton Brown

Prep time: 10 min
Yield: 1 cup

2 ounces cubed Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Pinch of kosher salt
Pinch of freshly ground pepper
1 cup silken soft tofu
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Starting on the lowest speed, chop the cheese cubes in the blender jar until it settles into the bottom of the jar, gradually increasing the speed.

Add the garlic down the chute and chop until minced.

Next, add the mustard, white wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, and tofu to the blender and blend until smooth.

While the blender is running, drizzle olive oil down the middle of the vortex that has formed. If needed, slowly add more of the olive oil and blend until it reaches salad dressing consistency

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