Kale and Tofu “Caesar” Salad

Chef Matthew Anderson was kind enough to share a recipe from the menu of his Chagrin Falls restaurant, Umami Asian Kitchen. This simple-toassemble dish provides the richness one expects for a classic Caesar salad, while being both vegetarian and gluten-free (and easily made vegan). In addition to the locally made tofu, chef Anderson sources locally grown and produced sunflower oil from Fresh Fork Market to create the dressing. Any extra tofu can be stored in the original container and covered with fresh water. So long as the water is refreshed often, the tofu will keep for months.

  • 1 pound (1 block) Cleveland Tofu
  • 1–3 garlic cloves (roasted or not)
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup sunflower oil (or any neutral oil)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 pound Lacinato kale
  • 1/4 pound Point Reyes Original Blue cheese (optional: chef Anderson uses this particular brand of blue cheese because it’s both delicious and gluten-free.)
  • 1/4 red cabbage, shredded (optional)
  • 1 carrot, shredded (optional)

For the dressing, take half a pound of Cleveland Tofu (half a block), break it up into chunks, and purée it in a blender with the garlic cloves, rice wine vinegar, and dry mustard. With the blender still running, drizzle in olive and sunflower oils. Pour the puréed tofu emulsion into a bowl and season lightly with salt.

After the dressing is made, finely chop the leaves of the Lacinato kale, leaving any hard stems behind. Mix the kale, cabbage, and carrot (if using), and dress lightly with the tofu emulsion. (You’ll likely have some extra dressing— save it. It’s a great alternative to ranch).

Top the salad with cubes of Cleveland Tofu and blue cheese (if using).