Executive chef John Nowakowski uses a zesty vinaigrette as a Caesar dressing alternative and as a marinade for grilled asparagus or other vegetables. “I came up with the recipe after going out to a restaurant and tasting a Parmesan vinaigrette served with grilled vegetables,” Nowakowski explains. “I wondered if I could duplicate it without all the fat and cheese.” Recipe courtesy of chef John Nowakowski.
Time: 30 minutes or fewer
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
- 2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
- 2 8-inch whole-wheat pitas, cut into ¾-inch squares
- ¾ cup olive oil
- 4 oz. soy or rice Parmesan cheese
- ⅓ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup brown rice vinegar
- 5 pitted green olives, plus 1 Tbs. olive juice
- 1 Tbs. sliced fresh basil
- 1 tsp. hot sauce
- 2 heads romaine lettuce, coarsely chopped (12 cups)
- 2 8-oz. pkgs. Italian-flavored baked tofu, sliced, optional
- ¼ cup grated soy Parmesan cheese, optional
- To make Croutons: Preheat oven to 375°F. Blend oil, garlic, and oregano in blender until smooth. Toss together pitas and oil mixture in bowl. Spread on baking sheet, and bake 15 to 18 minutes.
- To make Vinaigrette: blend all ingredients in blender until smooth.
- To assemble Salad: Toss lettuce with 1/2 cup Vinaigrette. Divide among serving plates, and top with Croutons, tofu slices (if using), and soy Parmesan cheese (if using).