- 1/3 c slivered or sliced almonds
- 3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- ¾ c silken tofu
- ¼ c olive oil
- 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 heaping T capers
- 4 tsp caper brine
- 1 tsp sugar
- ½ tsp mustard powder
- ¼ c olive oil
- 4 cloves roasted garlic
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 medium size loaf French or Italian bread (little less than 1 lb), stale and torn or sliced into bite-sized pieces
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 large head romaing lettuce, chopped
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Handful or two of spinach and/or arugula, torn into bite-sized pieces (optional)
Prepare the dressing: Pulse the sliced almonds in a food processor or blender until crumbly. Empty the ground almonds into an airtight container that you'll be using to store the finished dressing. Blend the garlic, tofu, and oil in the food processor or blender until creamy. Add the lemon juice, capers, caper brine, sugar, and mustard powder, and pulse until blended. Adjust the salt and lemon juice to taste. Put into the container with the ground almonds and whisk to combine. Cover and allow the dressing to chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes, optimally 1 to 1 ½ hours.
While the dressing is chilling, prepare the croutons: Preheat the oven to 400F. Combine the olive oil, roasted garlic, and lemon juice in a large bowl. With a fork or immersion blender, mash or blend the mixture until creamy. Add the torn bread and toss to coat each piece with the oil mixture. Spread onto a rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle with salt, if desired, and bake for 12 to 14 minutes until golden brown. Toss the croutons twice during the baking process. Remove from the oven and cool the croutons on the baking sheet.
To assemble the salad, place in a large bowl 2 to 3 C of lettuce/greens per individual serving (amount depending on whether it's a side or an entree). Ladle on 1/3 C of the dressing (or more or less to taste), and use kitchen tongs to toss the greens and coat them with dressing. Add the warm croutons, toss again, and transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with a little freshly cracked pepper. If not serving right away, warm croutons in 300F oven for 5 to 8 minutes before adding to the salad.
HS notes: If you don't have time to roast the garlic for the croutons, you can use raw - the flavor will be more pronounced, with less depth and mellowness. Feel free to use your favorite multi-grain bread for the croutons. If a salad like this is going to be a main meal for me, I make it topped with something like smoked tofu, something with some protein (for staying power) but use your imagination. If your dressing is too thick just thin it with a bit of warm water.