I love making salad dressing–whether vinaigrette or creamy, homemade always trumps bottled–always! I tried a great recipe from the August issue of Martha Stewart Living (the content doesn’t appear to be online yet, or I’d link to it–recipe is on page 64. Update: here it is!) It inspired me to try to make a dairy-free version, which I’m happy to report turned out great! Instead of using classic creamy-dressing components like mayonnaise, yogurt, sour cream, or cheese, I swapped in raw cashews and ripe avocado. Honestly, you’d never guess it’s vegan!
Dairy-Free Creamy Parsley and Garlic Dressing
Makes 1 1/2 cups
This recipe makes enough to be used as a dip. If using as a dip, leave it a bit thicker.
1/4 cup parsley leaves
1/4 cup raw cashews
1 to 2 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped (2 will make it super garlicky)
1/3 cup water, plus more for thinning dressing
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/2 rip Hass avocado, peeled and diced
2 medium lemons, juiced
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (plus more)
A pinch or two of sugar or equivalent of agave nectar
- In a blender, combine parsley, cashews, garlic, 1/3 cup water, and salt. Blend on high until smooth, about 1 minute.
- Scrape down sides of blender and add remaining ingredients; blend until smooth. If dressing is having trouble blending, add another tablespoon or two of olive oil and drizzle in a few tablespoons of water until desired consistency is reached. Transfer to a glass container and refrigerate until cold. Dressing will keep for a few days in the refrigerator; stir well before using.
I’ve been cutting back a little on the amount of dairy our family eats. Not only have a I recently read a few interesting pieces that call into question whether or not we really need it, my own body has just been telling me to back off a bit. Plus, when you have kids, it’s too easy for them to fall into the all (or mostly) dairy and starch diet. (Milk, cheese, yogurt, crackers and bread.) All that dairy and starch can slow things down, if you know what I mean! Dips are a great way to get kids to eat more vegetables, and all the better if those dips are healthy, too. We love hummus, which is a great choice, but now we have a creamy version to add to the arsenal. (By the way, I’d never, ever give up dairy completely–I love it too much!)