Caesar Salad with Fried Artichoke Hearts

When I heard my favourite plant-based restaurant was closing my heart sank as they had a creamy yet acidic plant-based-gluten-and-soy-free caesar salad. Maybe it was my grumbling belly from withdrawal mixed with my creative spark, however soon after their doors closed – I began working on my own creamy ceasar dressing. It took a bit of time and some tasting spoon cleaning but I finally made a dressing of my garlic-filled dreams.

I also had been working on a crispy gluten-free batter for a number of months. I don’t recall just how many combinations of flour it took to get the batter just right but I do remember, it was a left over small can of ginger ale from a party the week prior which turned out to be the missing piece. I grabbed some artichokes hearts from the pantry and tossed those into the batter before frying until crispy.

*endosisters: If possible avoid canned and buy artichoke hearts in glass containers or buy fresh.

Caesar Salad with Fried Artichoke Hearts

Caesar Salad

  • 1 -2 heads romaine lettuce

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1/4 shallot
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/8 cup soy free vegan mayo
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 lime

Fried Artichoke Hearts Batter Ingredients:

  • 1 can artichoke hearts in water
  • 2 cups all purpose gluten free flour
  • 1/8 cup corn starch
  • 354 ml can ginger ale
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp canola oil

Preparation:

  1. Peel and remove the pit of the avocado. Scoop out the insides and place into a food processor along with the garlic cloves, shallot, mayo, lemon and lime.
  2. Turn on the food processor to medium-high and continue until desired texture.
  3. Remove from food processor. As this is a thicker dressing, you will not need a lot for the salad. If you want a thinner dressing – add in more of the mayo.
  4. In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients for the artichoke batter in a bowl and whisk and blended evenly before pouring in the ginger ale. Mix until smooth.
  5. Meanwhile, in a dutch oven heat the oil to 375F degrees.
  6. Rinse the artichoke hearts and squeeze out the excess water. Pat dry and then dredge into the wet mixture.
  7. Make sure the oil is to temperature before carefully dropping in each artichoke heart.
  8. After 8-10 minutes or once golden brown, remove from oil and place on a cooling rack or a paper towel lined plate.
  9. As the fried artichokes hearts are cooling, wash, dry and tear up the heads of romaine lettuce and toss into a bowl.
  10. Pour in some of the dressing, mix until the lettuce is covered evenly and toss in the fried artichoke hearts. Serve and enjoy!

PRO TIP: Try satuéeing the garlic and shallots first before adding them to the food processor.

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