Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Creamy Pesto Salad Dressing

Since we eat multiple salads everyday I am always making salad dressing. I wanted to make a different dressing today and went to “The Professional Chef” for inspiration. There was a recipe for pesto vinaigrette that was interesting but not quite what I wanted. I have been on a raw cashew salad dressing kick lately and decided to make a creamy pesto version today.

I used some of the frozen basil from the freezer for convenience. Nutritional yeast was added for a little background cheesiness. Garlic was added for the kick as well as nutritional impact. Since color wasn’t an issue in this recipe I used dulse granules in place of salt today. Here is what I did.

Creamy Pesto Salad Dressing
Makes about a cup – 16 tablespoons


½ cup raw cashews
½ cup water
1 cube basil from the freezer (approximately 1 tablespoon of pureed basil)
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
¼ teaspoon dulse granules (or kosher salt to taste)
1 pinch black pepper, freshly ground


Combine everything in your blender and puree until smooth. Refrigerate until needed. The dressing will thicken as it cools.

Nutritional Information (per tablespoon):

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 23.49
Calories From Fat (70%) - 16.53

Total Fat - 1.77g
Saturated Fat - 0.29g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 1.24mg
Potassium - 28.31mg
Total Carbohydrates - 1.07g
Fiber - 0.14g
Sugar - 0.18g
Protein - 0.61g


This dressing has a subtle basil flavor. Nutritional yeast flavor fades into the background to round out the dressing. A little red wine vinegar (a tablespoon) would also be nice if you want sharpness in the dressing.


  1. This looks and sounds so good! I LOVE to make my own salad dressing so this one is perfect for me because I have a LOT of basil right now. Can I skip nutritional yeast though? I've never used it and I don't know where to find this stuff.

  2. Oraphan,

    Of course you can skip the nutritional yeast. I added to for a little "cheesy" background but it isn't necessary. We buy our nutritional yeast at the health food store or Wegman's. I have also seen it at Amazon grocery. It is a good source of vitamin B12.


  3. This looks marvelous, I love to try new salad dressings. It never gets boring that way.

  4. Janet,

    Thanks! When you eat as much salad as we do, trying new dressings are the only reason we don't get bored. My favorite two dressings so far have been the Catalina French and Cucumber. Although I would make any of them again those two stood out to me for some reason.


  5. This looks so good! I plan on a salad tonight for dinner.. yummy!
    Debra @ Vegan Family Style

  6. Debra,

    As you may have noticed I am on a raw cashew based salad dressing kick lately. This version is mild, but sometimes I want a dressing that doesn't overpower the veg. More basil would also be good if you are in the mood for more of a flavor punch.


  7. That looks incredibly creamy and delicious! And of course, basil in anything is good. ;)

  8. Ricki,

    Thanks. :) We liked it. And I agree anything with basil is bound to be good.



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