Monday, April 6, 2009

Cesarish Salad


The House of Science enjoyed a dinner guest this evening. Sonja, a long time friend of the MoS, is in Ottawa now, living with a coworker and getting affairs in order to allow for her husband and children to follow her here. Her visit made me feel the need to clean up (no fun, but useful) and to cook a lot (fun AND useful!) There was roasted garlic, French bread, two kinds of homemade pizza, and this lovely, vegan Cesar salad. Oh, and chocolate cake, strawberries, and whipped cream for dessert. Yes, I am a good hostess. Thanks for noticing.

The salad was the only thing on the menu that I'd never made before, and I figured that even if it was a huge flop the dinner would work out just fine. So I was especially delighted when it turned out to be remarkably tasty.

I have never been a big fan of Cesar salad in general. It always seemed to taste heavy and creamy and fishy and bacony. And also, if I'm going to the trouble of eating salad, I would like that salad to be good for me. I never got that healthy salady feeling from Cesar salad. However, this salad had all the lovely creamy taste of the original dish but none of the bad-for-you stuff. I am actually looking forward to eating it again. And the MoS who is quite indifferent to salads enjoyed this as well, which says something.

Cesarish Salad (adapted from Vegan Planet)


four slices of whole grain bread
four tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried basil

Cut bread into crouton-sized chunks and toss with olive oil and herbs.

Set oven to 400 degrees and spread croutons out on a baking sheet.

Bake for five to seven minutes, turn over, and bake for five minutes more. Croutons should be toasted and crunchy.


Two or three hearts of romaine lettuce, ripped up into bite-sized pieces
1 heaping tbsp tahini
1 tbsp light miso
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients (except lettuce) and stir until smooth.

Toss lettuce in dressing, add croutons, toss some more.

An entirely unrelated note:

-Did anyone else read this "Cooking With Dexter" article in the New York Times today? I think I might write a letter about it. It was this part that annoyed me the most:

“Those farmers take good care of their pigs, and then when they’re big enough, they kill them to make meat for us.”
“But that’s sad,” Dexter said.
Sometimes he thinks just like a 4-year-old. It’s a great disappointment to me.

I don't think it's unsophisticated at all to acknowledge that it is sad to kill an animal. If I were a parent, I would hope that my child would indeed feel sad that animals are killed. I wonder if the author would be as disappointed with his son if the boy felt sad about the death of a family dog or cat?

I appreciate that the father in the article has taken his son to a farm sanctuary, but I certainly didn't see eye to eye with him when he spent most of the rest of the article talking about his own gleeful enjoyment of meat-eating. I know people eat meat, I am not going to fight with them about it, but I admit my heart did sink when I read that he felt his son was somehow simple minded because he was sad than a living animal was to be killed and eaten.



A_and_N said...

You MADE the croutons? That is so cool :) The salad looks very refreshing :)

Cyn said...

That salad looks great! I was frantically cleaning my house up because I had people over for dinner yesterday, I totally understand the feeling. :)

Jo Stockton said...

A&N- making your own croutons is totally easy and they taste so much better than anything out of a package. I do them sometimes for soup as well . Totally easy and delicious.

Cyn- it can be a kind of blessing in disguise in a way. I always put more effort into cleaning when I know guests are coming, but then I get to enjoy it for a few days afterwards. Until everything gets covered in dog hair again, anyway.

Lise said...

Sounds like a delicious spread! Next time, we need pics of the rest of the food!

I've never made my own croutons, but you've convinced me that it's easy enough. Will try!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Ooh, yum! Looks good to me & I wasn't much of a caesar fan either!