May 20, 2024
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May 20, 2024
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Recipe: Vegan Kale Caesar Salad with Shiitake ‘Bacon’

Tender kale, crisp romaine and robust shiitake mushrooms make this caesar salad anything but ordinary. No eggs, no dairy, no gluten, but with TONS of flavor. Recipe contributed by our newest CKCA staff member, Chef Sarah Fry. Learn more at

Serves: 5


For the dressing (makes ¾ to 1 cup):

2-3 cloves garlic, peeled

1 tablespoon white miso

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon mustard

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 ounce soft tofu, blanched and drained

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

½ sheet nori, toasted and crumbled

½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt and pepper, or to taste

For the lettuce:

1 small/medium bunch Lacinato kale, destemmed (5 cups chopped)

2 small heads romaine lettuce (10 cups chopped)

Shiitake Bacon:

2 – 3.5 ounce package shiitake mushrooms

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon tamari

1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and discard. Slice the caps into 1/8 inch strips. Put the mushrooms in a medium bowl and add the olive oil, tamari, and pepper. Toss to coat completely then spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned. The “bacon” will crisp as it cools.

2. Prepare the dressing: In a blender, combine garlic, miso, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, soy sauce, tofu, and oil. Blend until mixture is smooth and creamy. Toast and crumble nori; add to dressing and blend thoroughly.

3. Prepare the lettuce: De-stem the kale and then finely chop the leaves. Wash and dry in a salad spinner. Place into extra large bowl. Chop up the romaine into bite-sized pieces. Rinse and then spin dry. Place into bowl along with kale.

4. Assemble: Drizzle dressing onto lettuce and toss until fully coated. Serve immediately.

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