Last February, I had the incredible opportunity to collaborate with 'Room 2 Hotel' in London, bringing my culinary expertise to their sustainability-focused kitchenettes. As I pondered the perfect recipe to fit the occasion, I couldn't resist putting a seasonal twist on one of my all-time favourite salads - the Caesar Salad. And thus, the 'Caesonal Salad' was born!
To create this delectable dish, I embraced plant-based innovation by replacing the traditional chicken with tender Oyster Mushrooms. Marinated in a delightful blend of M&S vegan chicken seasoning, these mushrooms became the star of the show, elevating the salad to new heights of flavour and texture.
Due to the cold time of year, I replaced the lettuce with warm kale, tossed with a creamy and tangy vegan Caesar dressing. The dressing, carefully crafted to mimic the classic flavours, perfectly complemented the earthy tones of the Oyster Mushrooms and homemade croutons.
- 200g Oyster Mushrooms (Shredded)
- 100g Spring Greens
- 100g Curly Kale
- 3 Stalks Spring Onions
- 1/4 Cucumber
- 1/2 Loaf Ciabatta
- 1 Tsp Coconut Oil
- 2 Tbsp Vegan Chicken Seasoning
- 100g Organic Cashew Nuts (Soaked)
- 1 Tsp Capers
- 1 Garlic Bulb
- 20ml Apple Cider Vinegar
- 3 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
- 3/4 Cup Water
- Salt & Pepper to Taste
- Start by shredding the Oyster mushrooms into thin strips. Coat them in a light drizzle of oil and generously sprinkle them with vegan chicken seasoning. Give them a good shake to ensure they are evenly coated. Fry the mushrooms in a pan until they turn golden and crispy. Set aside for later use.
- In the same pan, add a touch of garlic-infused coconut oil and toss in the kale and spring greens. Sauté them for about 2 minutes until they are slightly wilted but still vibrant and crunchy. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Now it's time to prepare the ciabatta croutons. Slice the ciabatta bread into bite-sized pieces. Toast them to perfection using a toaster or grill until they become golden and crispy. Break the toasted ciabatta into rustic croutons that will add a delightful crunch to your salad.
- Dice the spring onions and cucumber into small, bite-sized pieces. These fresh and vibrant ingredients will add a burst of flavor and texture to your salad.
- Assemble all the prepped ingredients on a plate. Start with a generous bed of the sautéed kale and spring greens. Arrange the crispy Oyster mushrooms on top, followed by the diced spring onions and cucumber. Finally, sprinkle the ciabatta croutons over the salad.
- To create the creamy and luscious cashew dressing, gather all the dressing ingredients and add them to a blender. Whizz it all together until you achieve a smooth and velvety consistency. Drizzle the dressing generously over the salad, making sure to coat every delicious component.