This is a terrific take on the classic Caesar salad that substitutes sunflower seeds, capers and smoked dulse flakes for the usual egg yolks and anchovies. Dulse is an edible red algae that’s incredibly good for you. It’s full of minerals and vitamins including potassium, zinc, vitamin B and iodine. If you can’t find dulse flakes, simply toast a few large pieces of dulse in a dry skillet until it turns a rusty color. Remove and let cool (it will get crispy and dry) and then grind in a blender, food processor or coffee grinder. If you can’t find dulse, you can substitute a teaspoonful of soy sauce, which will provide dulse’s salinity and depth of flavor. This recipe makes a lot of dressing—it’s also great as a dip for vegetables or as a spread for sandwiches.
2 heads romaine lettuce, washed and dried (dark outer leaves discarded)
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup water
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 tablespoon capers
2 teaspoons smoked dulse flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper
1. Tear the lettuce into small pieces and place in a large salad bowl.
2. Meanwhile, toast the sunflower seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat for about five minutes or until just barely browned and starting to smell nutty and fragrant. Put them in a blender with the remaining ingredients (except, of course, the croutons). Blend until fairly smooth. Dress the lettuce with as much dressing as you’d like. Serve with the Rosemary and Thyme Croutons.