When I created this Caesar salad, I did a silly dance around the kitchen. Seriously—it is that good. And the name is perfect for it. I’m betting that this Caesar salad dressing is like nothing you’ve ever tasted. It is extremely eccentric and undeniably delicious. Who would have thought that curry powder would be the perfect addition to a Caesar dressing? Not me before I took the risk of adding it—but now I am a total convert. And the nutritional yeast gives this dressing a cheese-like flavor that could please even the most omnivorous Caesar salad connoisseur. This recipe makes extra dressing that you can store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Topped with our Quick Garlic Croutons, capers, avocado, and hemp seeds, this dynamic salad will delight your adventurous taste buds. —Marea Goodman, Straight From the Earth Cookbook.
Nutritional yeast has a delicious, savory, cheesy flavor that’s especially welcome in many dairy-free recipes. It’s also extremely nutrient dense, packed with amino acids, B-vitamins, folic acid, selenium, zinc, and many more important minerals. It gives our Caesar salad dressing a yummy, cheesy flavor, and we also love it sprinkled on popcorn, soups, beans, and pasta. Many people add it to vegetable juice to enhance the nutrition. It comes in both flake and powder form (we prefer the flakes for our recipes) and is available in natural food stores, both in bulk and in cans.
Note that nutritional yeast is different from baker’s yeast, and it’s also not the same as brewer’s yeast (which is a by-product from the beer industry). Nutritional yeast is made from a single-celled organism called Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is typically grown on molasses and then harvested, washed, and dried with heat to deactivate it. It should be stored in a cool and dry place in an airtight bag or container.
To make the dressing: Combine the cashews, oil, lemon juice, yeast, mustard, garlic, salt, curry powder, and pepper in a food processor and add ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons warm water. Process until the mixture is very smooth, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice.
Toss the romaine with ½ cup of the dressing. Add more to taste if desired. Divide the lettuce among six plates, and top each with some of the croutons, avocado, hemp seeds, and capers. Serve immediately.