Ask a Chef: John Lenhard

How can I create a vegan Caesar salad as bold and sassy as the original?

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“How can I create a vegan Caesar salad as bold and sassy as the original?” We asked John Lenhard, culinary team leader at Sublime Restaurant & Bar in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a vegan hot spot counting Paul McCartney and Alicia Silverstone among its clientele. What’s more, 100 percent of Sublime’s profits help support animal welfare. Here’s what Lenhard said: • At the heart of the salad is a firm head of romaine lettuce.  For a traditional-style salad, keep leaves whole. Chill until ready to use to ensure crispness. • To achieve the consistency of traditional Caesar dressing without adding eggs or cheese, use 2 cups of Follow Your Heart Vegenaise. For vegan anchovy flavor, use 1 1/2 teaspoons of The Wizard’s Worcestershire sauce. And garlic, garlic, garlic! Slow-roast 1 tablespoon of chopped raw garlic in extra virgin olive oil in a sauté pan, and add to the dressing, along with 2 tablespoons of chopped raw garlic. • Croutons make or break a Caesar: Slice day-old bread on the diagonal into 1/4-inch-thick cubes. Brush with extra virgin olive oil, dust with garlic powder, and bake in a 325°F oven for 10 minutes; let cool. • To follow tradition, toss the salad in a wood bowl; use enough dressing to coat the lettuce. If assembling on a plate, arrange the romaine leaves with tips pointing outward. Garnish with croutons and freshly ground black pepper.