asparagus caesar salad

What a week!  Your kind words were appreciated more than you know and put such a smile on my entire family’s face.  I’m in Ohio until Wednesday and then will be heading back to Colorado.

I made the following recipe the day before heading to Ohio but needed a break from the computer this week to spend some much needed time with the family.  While this week was difficult and sad, it was also wonderful.  We celebrated and honored my grandpa’s life as best we could!

Asparagus season flies by within a blink of an eye.

This was the first bunch I’ve bought this year.  The stalks were thick, crunchy, and vibrant green with lovely flecks of purple.  Typically, we either grill or roast asparagus.  But for this recipe I tried a little something different.

I peeled the asparagus stalks and cooked them in a hot pan for just one to two minutes to create a warm salad.

A warm salad that was then coated in a vegan caesar dressing.  I’ve been meaning to create a vegetarian/vegan caesar dressing for awhile now.  Caesar dressing traditionally includes anchovies, which I don’t think I knew until just a few years ago.

I’ve become obsessed with a vegan caesar dressing that our favorite local restaurant makes, Tasty Harmony.  It definitely had some sort of fish-type flavor to it, and I am baffled as to how they achieve it.  One day it occurred to me, nori [seaweed sushi wrappers] has a very sea-like, mild fish taste.  What would happen if I crumbled nori into the dressing to really give it that authentic caesar flavor?

I’m not sure if Tasty Harmony adds nori, or what they use as the base [possibly tofu], but below you’ll see what I came up with.

Print this!

Vegan Asparagus Caesar Salad

vegan, gluten-free // dressing yields ~1 cup

  • 1 lb asparagus [thick stalks]
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for 4+ hours
  • 5 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 of a nori sheet that was about 8x8” in size to start
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons tahini
  • 1.5 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt + pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 cup water
  • 1-2 teaspoons high heat oil [safflower/sunflower/coconut]
  1. Soak your raw cashews [unsalted/unroasted] in a bowl of water for at least 4hrs.  Drain and rinse after soaking.
  2. Wash the asparagus and cut about 1-2” of the ends off.
  3. With a vegetable peeler, carefully peel the stalks into as many ribbons as possible. 
  4. *If you want to use the unpeeled portion of the stalks, chop them into 1-2” pieces and set aside.  You can also save and use them at later time.
  5. In a blender combine the soaked cashews, lemon juice, oil, tahini, garlic, mustard, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup water and blend until smooth.
  6. Chop or crumble 3/4 of the nori sheet and blend again until combined.
  7. Taste and add more salt/pepper/water if needed.
  8. Pour into a bowl and set aside.  Store covered in the fridge for 1 week.
  9. In a pan over medium-high heat, add 1-2 teaspoon of oil.
  10. *If using the chopped portion of the stalks, add them to the pan once hot and toss with tongs for 2-3min.
  11. Add the peeled ribbons and toss constantly with tongs for 1-2min until vibrant green and slightly softened.
  12. Toss with desired amount of dressing and serve. 

Notes:  Top the salad with pepitas, croutons, tofu, parmesan cheese, etc. if desired.  The dressing thickens a lot after sitting in the fridge, so you can whisk in more water as needed.

And if you buy nori and aren’t sure what to do with the rest of the pack, check out our veggie sushi night.  We love that dinner!

Eat + repeat.  Until asparagus season is over.