Lightened Caesar Salad with “Cheezy” Olive Croutons

Recipe contributed by Maureen Gualtieri, adapted from Oh She Glows (link:

Celebrate the Ides of March in style with this plebe-pleasing take on a traditional Caesar salad. We’ve kept the intense and creamy flavour profile, but cut a lot of the richness – great news, as that means you can eat more in one go! In the dressing, we used DFC’s Original Hot & Seedy Mustard for its perfectly balanced sweetness and spice, but you can fully veganize this recipe with one of DFC’s honey-less mustards, like our Maple Bourbon, Wasabi, Maple Crunch or Ginger. Top any variation with crisp-toasted olive bread croutons tossed in nutritional yeast “Parmesan,” and you’ll have a salad for the ages.

 Lightened Caesar Salad with “Cheezy” Olive Croutons

 (Yield: 6 servings)

For salad:

1 bunch romaine lettuce

1 bunch lacinato kale


For dressing:

1/ 2 c. raw cashews, soaked in freshly boiled water for 20 min and drained

1/ 4 c. cold water

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 medium clove fresh garlic

1 tbsp coconut aminos

3 heaping tsp capers

1/ 2 tsp garlic powder

1 tbsp DFC’s Original Hot & Seedy Mustard

1/ 4 tsp salt

Black pepper, to taste


For croutons:

1 baguette-style loaf of olive bread

1/ 4 c. olive oil

1/ 4 c. nutritional yeast

1/ 2 tsp garlic powder

1/ 4 tsp onion powder


First, start your croutons: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and set a rack in the middle. Cut your olive bread into approximately 1-inch cubes. Put the cubes in a large bowl, and drizzle the olive oil over them. Toss to coat well. Sprinkle the nutritional yeast and garlic powder over the cubes, and toss again to cover them thoroughly. Spread the cubes out on a large baking sheet (no greasing or parchment required), and slide into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through, until golden and crisp.

While the croutons toast, wash and dry your romaine lettuce and kale. Grab a serving bowl, and tear the lettuce into bite-sized pieces, dropping them in as you go. De-stem the kale and, with a very sharp knife, chiffonade the leaves. Sprinkle them on top of the lettuce, and toss the whole lot a few times with your hands to get an even distribution.

Now to the dressing: In the pitcher of your blender combine all ingredients except the black pepper. Blitz until smooth and emulsified. Stir in black pepper, and taste – adjust salt, pepper and/or lemon juice as needed.

By this time, your croutons should be done. Allow them to cool (this will happen quickly), and add a few handfuls of them to the lettuce and kale mix. Pour on dressing to taste, toss together, and serve.

To make this fresh and crunchy salad, you’ll need: Olive oil, lacinato kale, romaine lettuce, lemon juice, fresh garlic, coconut aminos, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, onion powder, soaked raw cashews, capers, olive bread, and DFC’s Original Hot & Seedy Mustard. (Plus salt and pepper to taste.)
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