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Vegan Swiss Chard Caesar Salad

A dark bowl with handles full of Swiss chard Caeser salad and croutons on a dark background.
What I love about the dressing for this salad is that you can put it on romaine lettuce, shredded kale, Swiss chard, or whatever seasonal green your heart desires, making this is a year-round Caesar salad—grab what’s in your garden and go with it.
Ryan Scott

Prep 20 mins
Cook 15 mins
Total 35 mins
Sides
American
4 servings
388 kcal

Ingredients 

For the croutons

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 large sourdough loaf unsliced

For the dressing

  • 1/2 cup silken tofu
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest preferably organic
  • 6 dashes of Tabasco sauce

For the salad

  • 3 bunches Swiss chard* leaves stemmed and chopped into bite-size pieces, or 1 large bag chopped fresh chard leaves

Directions 

Make the croutons

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  • In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper. Tear the bread into bite-size chunks and add to the bowl. Toss the bread chunks in the oil mixture until they are well coated.
  • Arrange the bread in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until they are toasted and golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. The edges will be dark brown, and there should still be just a touch of softness in the centers.

Make the dressing

  • In a food processor or blender, combine the tofu, lemon juice, olive oil, capers, garlic, maple syrup, mustard, pepper, lemon zest, and Tabasco and blitz until smooth.

Assemble the salad

  • Place the chard in a large salad bowl and pour over half the dressing. Top with the croutons (it’s okay if they are still slightly warm) and toss everything together to coat.
  • Taste and add more dressing if you desire. The dressing keeps well in the fridge, so any extra can be saved for later. Any extra croutons can be frozen.

Notes

*What is Swiss chard?

In the spectrum of greens, Swiss chard is somewhere in between spinach and kale. Kale, the toughest leaf out there, is far more sturdy than Swiss chard while spinach is quite a bit more delicate. Swiss chard is toothsome but still delicate enough to make a salad like this easy to eat, with no advance prep. The stems can be tough but aren't eaten raw very often. Still hungry to learn more? Lucky for you, we're absolute fonts of knowledge. Check out this article, by our very own David Leite—it's got everything you need to know.