How to Make the Vegan Caesar-ish Salad Worth Braving L.A. Traffic For

Chef Jared Dowling of The Waterfront in Venice, CA shares his recipe for an elevated basic

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If you know one thing about Los Angeles, it’s probably that there can be some traffic. So when a person who lives near downtown L.A. says they would voluntarily drive all the way to the beach for a salad, you can trust that is a good salad. The vegan Caesar riff assembled by Jared Dowling, executive chef of The Waterfront in Venice, California, is just such a salad.

At his breezy, beachy restaurant, Dowling switches out the plain Romaine base of the Caesar for a mix of baby gems, massaged kale, and thinly-sliced watermelon radishes. But it’s the house-made vegan Caesar dressing that makes it special.

“I’m a fan of heavily dressing this salad as the kale really holds up to the favor of the dressing and the cold crunch of the baby gem,” Dowling notes.

Here’s how you can make your own version at home, no cross-town car ride required.

Related Recipes to Try Next:
Red Gem Salad with Green Curry Goddess and Crispy Lentils
Summer Strawberry and Quinoa Salad
Spinach Salad with Mochi Croutons

Vegan Caesar Salad by Chef Jared Dowling, The Waterfront


Salad base

  • Roughly Chopped Kale
  • Lemon Juice
  • Chopped Baby Gem Lettuce
  • Chopped Roasted Almonds
  • Shaved Watermelon Radishes
  • Chopped Chives
  • Sourdough Croutons

Vegan caesar salad dressing

  • 100 g (3.5 oz) Cashews
  • 50 g (2 oz) Dijon Mustard
  • 40 g (1.5 oz) Nutritional Yeast
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic
  • 10 g (.5 oz) Capers
  • 150 ml (5 oz) Olive Oil
  • 60 ml (2 oz) Lemon Juice
  • 120 ml (4 oz) Water
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste


Build Salad Base: Chop kale and massage leaves with a bit of lemon juice to lightly break down fibers; set aside. Chop and toss all other ingredients together. Add kale.

Make Vegan Caesar Dressing: In a Vitamix, blend cashews, mustard, yeast, garlic, and capers together with the olive oil. This will create a thick base for your dressing. I like to blend until smooth, and then add water and lemon juice to get the right consistency. Season with salt and pepper and you are ready to dress your salad!