This is my secret creamy dressing that converted my husband Scott into a person who LOVES salads and made my good friend Tyler eat more salads. Although it is dairy-free, it is not only for my dairy-free people but for all of you out there who love food, who love EATING good food that serves their organs. This dairy-free dressing will keep salads light and will add a nice combo of flavors and super creamy texture as well.
It pairs well with any kind of salad although I love it with veggie and herb salads. Even though I call it a salad dressing, it is actually very versatile and you can use it as a dip as well. Whatever salad or dish you decide to use it with, it will add a lovely, creamy yogurt-like consistency and light, heavenly flavors.
The first ingredient I use for this dressing is a capsicum. It gives a nice flavor, and since I want the dressing to be beautifully colored as well, I use red capsicum. What I noticed working as a chef and meeting people with digestive issues at our retreats here at Bali is that dairy-free people and folks with allergies cannot digest that white pith inside capsicums. As I later found out, these white parts contain one type of enzyme that causes discomfort to some people. So, it is safer to just remove this pith by keeping the blade flat and run it against the capsicum.
I also like the dressing to have the onion flavor, so I add just a bit of onion. Sometimes, I add a clove or two of garlic. It is completely up to you if you want to add these two ingredients. Or if you are more in favor of shallots or spring onions, feel free to add them too as they are a great substitute.
What gives this dressing its yogurt-like consistency are cashews. I usually like soaking cashews before using them in this recipe, but if you don’t have time for that, it’s completely fine. To be honest, not much will be changed on the taste and texture of the dressing, but if you want to know why I like soaking nuts, check it out here. For this recipe, it is enough to soak the cashews for a couple of hours or until they are all puffed up. Before throwing them into your Vitamix, give them a really good rinse.
And finally, what I like to add to bring out the flavors is some good-quality tamari or soya sauce and a generous pinch of each Himalayan salt and black pepper.
Before you start having some fun with blending the ingredients, add just a splash of water if you want this dairy-free dressing to be super thick. I love it creamy and runny, so I always keep some water near to gradually pour in while blending.
Now comes a great part where you can go wild and experiment with the dressing! If you want it to be chunky, you can add some nuts to it. I want this salad dressing to be super creamy, so before I decide what to do with it, I check its consistency by taking just a bit of it and rubbing it between my fingers. If I can feel that there is still some sandiness of the cashews, I blend it on high speed for about a minute more to make it super creamy.
The dairy-free salad dressing that you get as a final product is so versatile that you can feel free to use it not only with salads. For instance, if you are one of those who love spicy food, you can give this dressing a Mexican twist by adding some chili or smoked paprika. It will go perfectly with burritos, enchiladas, corn chips, etc. What’s even more, you can prepare it for a BBQ with friends and drizzle it over roasted corn.
This dressing is so freaking good that it can turn a regular shredded cabbage into a nice coleslaw with a smokey flavor. It will not only serve your taste buds but will serve your organs as well.
Yields: Enough for 2 people
This salad dressing allows you to have fun with it and add your combo of flavours. I would love to see what ingredients you added to the original recipe and what salads and dishes you paired the dressing with.
Chef Cynthia Louise is an Internationally acclaimed MasterChef, speaker, author, restaurant consultant, teacher and television presenter in wholefood, dairy-free cooking.
She also has the worlds first online cooking classes focused on dairy-free plant-based whole foods with recipes that people are raving about and changing people's health, one delicious bite at a time.
Chef Cynthia loves nothing more than educating people about the simplicity and vitality of a plant-based, whole foods lifestyle. Each dish is like art on a plate and her flavour combinations nourish the soul and get everyone talking.