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Caesar Salad with Crispy Tofu Croutons

In this creative remix of a classic Caesar, Melissa Rubel Jacobson pan-fries tofu cubes until they become crisp and crouton-like. Plus, she blends soft tofu with olive oil, lemon juice and an anchovy to make a terrific Caesar-style dressing without the standard raw egg yolks.

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  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 6 ounces soft silken tofu, drained

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving

  • 1 oil-packed anchovy fillet, drained

  • 1 small garlic clove

  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • One 14-ounce package firm tofu, drained and cut into 3/4-inch cubes

  • Vegetable oil, for frying

  • 1/2 cup cornstarch

  • 2 romaine hearts (1 pound), torn into bite-size pieces


  1. In a blender, puree the silken tofu with the olive oil, lemon juice, the 1 1/2 tablespoons of Parmigiano, the anchovy, garlic, Worcestershire and mustard; season the dressing with salt and pepper.
  2. Wrap the firm tofu in paper towels and press out some of the water. In a large skillet, heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil until shimmering. In a bowl, toss the tofu with the cornstarch until coated. Add the cubes to the oil and fry over moderately high heat, turning once, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the croutons to a paper towel–lined plate; season with salt.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the romaine with the dressing and two-thirds of the croutons. Transfer the salad to plates and top with the remaining croutons. Sprinkle with Parmigiano and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Zesty Sauvignon Blanc.

Contributed By Photo © Stephanie Foley Published May 2010

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