Winter Caesar salad

Make this delicious winter Caesar salad, packed full of nutritious bitter leaves, by chef Tom Hunt from his cookbook, Eating for Pleasure, People & Planet.

Winter Caesar salad/Credit: Jenny Zarins
Published: January 14th, 2022 at 1:15 pm
  • Easy
  • Serves 4 as a light lunch, 8 as a starter
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This is a plant-rich winter version of a classic Caesar salad, made using a variety of nutritious bitter leaves in place of the rather dull iceberg lettuce. Seaweed and salty capers give it a hint of the sea, as an alternative to anchovies, and grated walnuts replace the Parmesan.

Leafy winter greens (whites, reds, pinks and purples) keep us going through the coldest months of the year with nutritious, colourful and flavourful ingredients that can withstand seriously cold temperatures, making them a good source of local nutrition, including vitamins A and C and minerals iron, potassium and calcium. Market gardens and specialist farmers are growing more and more varieties from old heritage species to new colourful hybrids, including variegated purple and green kale, magenta-coloured fingers of tardivo and radicchio del Veneto, a frilly chicory dressed in pastel-pink.

This recipe was created by Eco-Chef Tom Hunt features in his new cookbook Eating for Pleasure, People & Planet. For more ideas on which vegetables are at their best in winter, and how to cook them, see Tom Hunt's feature on How to make the most from British winter veg. For more meat-free recipe inspiration, head to our Vegan and Vegetarian Recipes page, which includes Tom's recipe for Beet Bourguignon.
Eating for Pleasure, People & Planet by Tom Hunt is published by Kyle Books, £26.00, www.octopusbooks.co.uk

Ingredients

  • 1 head of chicory (e.g. tardivo, treviso, endive), leaves picked
  • A small bunch of baby kale (e.g. red Russian, redbor, cavolo nero), stalks removed and finely chopped, leaves torn into large pieces
  • 5g seaweed soaked in cold water for 10 minutes, then drained
  • 4-6 Walnuts
  • A pinch of kala namak or sea salt

For the croutons

  • 1 Garlic clove, crushed to a paste
  • glug of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Slices of stale wholemeal sourdough (or other bread), cut into long batons

For the dressing

  • 4tbsp aquafaba
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • 1tbsp capers plus 1 tbsp for the salad
  • 1tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 100-150ml Extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of ½ an unwaxed lemon
  • 1tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Method

How to make the croutons

  • STEP 1

    To make the croûtons, combine the garlic and extra virgin olive oil in a bowl. Add the bread and turn it in the garlicky oil to coat it thoroughly. Season generously with salt.

    Transfer to a frying pan and fry over a medium heat, turning occasionally, until golden brown all over. Set aside.

How to prepare the salad

  • STEP 1

    To prepare the salad, combine the leaves, seaweed, croûtons and capers in a bowl. Drizzle over the dressing and turn together just once or twice so the bright colours of the leaves shine through.

    Serve immediately, topped with a generous grating of walnuts and a sprinkling of kala namak or sea salt.

Authors

Tom Hunt is an award-winning eco-chef, writer and climate campaigner. His Bristol restaurant Poco has won numerous awards, including Best Ethical Restaurant at the Observer Food Monthly Awards. He is the author of two recipe books: Eating for Pleasure, People & Planet, and The Natural Cook.

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