My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!


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asparagus caesar salad

What a week!  Your kind words were appreciated more than you know and put such a smile on my entire family’s face.  I’m in Ohio until Wednesday and then will be heading back to Colorado.

I made the following recipe the day before heading to Ohio but needed a break from the computer this week to spend some much needed time with the family.  While this week was difficult and sad, it was also wonderful.  We celebrated and honored my grandpa’s life as best we could!

asparagus (1 of 5)

Asparagus season flies by within a blink of an eye.

This was the first bunch I’ve bought this year.  The stalks were thick, crunchy, and vibrant green with lovely flecks of purple.  Typically, we either grill or roast asparagus.  But for this recipe I tried a little something different.

I peeled the asparagus stalks and cooked them in a hot pan for just one to two minutes to create a warm salad.

asparagus (2 of 5)

A warm salad that was then coated in a vegan caesar dressing.  I’ve been meaning to create a vegetarian/vegan caesar dressing for awhile now.  Caesar dressing traditionally includes anchovies, which I don’t think I knew until just a few years ago.

asparagus (3 of 5)

I’ve become obsessed with a vegan caesar dressing that our favorite local restaurant makes, Tasty Harmony.  It definitely had some sort of fish-type flavor to it, and I am baffled as to how they achieve it.  One day it occurred to me, nori [seaweed sushi wrappers] has a very sea-like, mild fish taste.  What would happen if I crumbled nori into the dressing to really give it that authentic caesar flavor?

I’m not sure if Tasty Harmony adds nori, or what they use as the base [possibly tofu], but below you’ll see what I came up with.

asparagus (4 of 5)

Print this!

Vegan Asparagus Caesar Salad [dressing yields ~1c]

  • 1lb asparagus [thick stalks]
  • 1/2c raw cashews, soaked for 4+ hours
  • 5T lemon juice
  • 3/4 of a nori sheet that was about 8x8” in size to start
  • 2T extra virgin olive oil
  • 2T tahini
  • 1.5t garlic, minced
  • 1t dijon mustard
  • 1/4-1/2t salt + pepper
  • 1/4-1/2c water
  • 1-2t high heat oil [safflower/sunflower/coconut]
  1. Soak your raw cashews [unsalted/unroasted] in a bowl of water for at least 4hrs.  Drain and rinse after soaking.
  2. Wash the asparagus and cut about 1-2” of the ends off.
  3. With a vegetable peeler, carefully peel the stalks into as many ribbons as possible. 
  4. *If you want to use the unpeeled portion of the stalks, chop them into 1-2” pieces and set aside.  You can also save and use them at later time.
  5. In a blender combine the soaked cashews, lemon juice, oil, tahini, garlic, mustard, salt, pepper, and 1/4c water and blend until smooth.
  6. Chop or crumble 3/4 of the nori sheet and blend again until combined.
  7. Taste and add more salt/pepper/water if needed.
  8. Pour into a bowl and set aside.  Store covered in the fridge for 1 week.
  9. In a pan over medium-high heat, add 1-2t of oil.
  10. *If using the chopped portion of the stalks, add them to the pan once hot and toss with tongs for 2-3min.
  11. Add the peeled ribbons and toss constantly with tongs for 1-2min until vibrant green and slightly softened.
  12. Toss with desired amount of dressing and serve. 

Notes:  Top the salad with pepitas, croutons, tofu, parmesan cheese, etc. if desired.  The dressing thickens a lot after sitting in the fridge, so you can whisk in more water as needed.

And if you buy nori and aren’t sure what to do with the rest of the pack, check out our veggie sushi night.  We love that dinner!

asparagus (5 of 5)

Eat + repeat.  Until asparagus season is over.


Reader Comments (20)

Today I eat a big salad totally raw : asparagus, avocado, spinach, agretti ( how do you call them?? ), strawberries, olive oil, salt and sechuan pepper ^^ I love raw asparagus <3
April 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commentervalina88
Happy to hear you were able to enjoy the week with your family. You've been in my thoughts and prayers. Have a safe trip home!

Ashley--> Thank you Krissy!
April 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKrissy @ Make it Naked
This sounds AMAZING! I adore asparagus!
April 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBlog is the New Black
this looks so good, i must make it asap!
I've been wanting to try/find a good vegan caesar dressing recipe! This looks soooo good.
That looks SO delicious! I love asparagus :)
April 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLiz @ iheartvegetables
I adore asparagus. It's so weird how something that can make your pee smell so foul can taste so darn good! Love the idea of peeling and quickly cooking. I sometimes will do it peeled and raw but cooking for a minute is a nice way to get that slight bitterness out.
Stumbled upon your page for the very first time today. Super glad that I did :) Beautiful stuff. Thanks for sharing.
April 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKarishma
Stumbled upon your page for the very first time today. Super glad that I did :) Beautiful stuff. Thanks for sharing.
April 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKarishma
This salad looks great- I've never shaved asparagus before, but each time I see a recipe, I want to try it!
April 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
I'm curious, how can it be vegan when you used dijon mustard? Dijon mustard has mayo in it which made from eggs.

Ashley--> Hi Leslie. Thanks for your concern! This was the mustard I used It's 100% vegan + gluten free. Dijon mustard doesn't typically include mayo/eggs in it. Some recipes and brands for dijon mustard do include honey, but the mustard I was using did not include it. I know I've seen a product "dijonnaise" which is a mix of dijon and mayo but that is quite different than plain dijon.
April 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie
Oh my gosh girl! I had no idea you changed your blog and I was just thinking to myself, I wonder what happened to Ashley! So happy I decided to check! It's beautiful!! :) So happy you're still here. :)

Ashley--> Aw, thanks Lauren!
April 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLauren
I didn't know you could peel asparagus..crazy! Looks quite tasty!

Ashley--> I never realized it either!
April 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLizAshlee
Just catching up and SO sorry to hear about your loss!! You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

On a happy note - this salad looks phenomenal. Have a good Monday, friend!
April 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
First, I'm sorry to hear about your loss. But I'm also glad I went to your site directly (new design looks lovely, by the way) -- I was not longer getting posts through Google Reader. I'm catching up after a vacation and have now added your new feed to my list!
April 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate @ get up and flow
Yum! I know it sounds silly, but I've never thought to make my own Caesar dressing, but it sounds yummy!
Cashews + tahini + nori? Too many amazing ingredients for one recipe. I can't wait to try this dressing on everything!
April 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKale Crusaders
we've been eating a ton of asparagus. this recipe looks incredible, girl. hope you're doing alright <3

Ashley--> Thanks Ash!
Looks incredible!!! Your avocado pasta brought me here and now I don't want to leave :)

Ashley--> Thanks for saying hello!
April 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShel@peachypalate
Looks yummy! And the purple background looks divine!
April 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJanis

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