Sunday, October 4, 2009

Pepper Parmesan Salad Dressing

We eat salad everyday at our house, sometimes two or three salads a day. Eating the same old salad dressing gets boring so I am always looking for new options. My husband was a huge fan of pepper Parmesan salad dressing and asked that I make a healthy vegan version of it. Sure sweetie I can do that. All I need to do is replace the mayonnaise, anchovies and Parmesan cheese. This is my version of the recipe from “The Professional Chef”.

In place of the mayonnaise I used raw cashews so that the fat was whole and unprocessed. The anchovy substitute was a little more difficult. I opted to use capers since they have a similar salty bite. But not too many capers since I didn’t want the dressing to have a green tint. Nutritional yeast was the obvious substitute for Parmesan.

Pepper Parmesan Salad Dressing
Makes 1 ½ cups


½ cup raw cashews
1 cup water
1 – 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (depending on how “cheesy” you want it)
½ teaspoon capers, drained
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns


Place everything in your blender and process until completely smooth. I recommend that you start with 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast and decide if you want to use the second tablespoon. Some people love the taste of nutritional yeast, and others not so much.

Refrigerate in a covered container until ready to use.

Nutritional Information (per tablespoon):

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 12.83
Calories From Fat (64%) - 8.23

Total Fat - 0.87g
Saturated Fat - 0.16g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 41.53mg
Potassium - 14.79mg
Total Carbohydrates - 0.7g
Fiber - 0.09g
Sugar - 0.12g
Protein - 0.38g


This is a reasonable approximation of the pepper Parmesan salad dressing. It is actually a closer approximation than I anticipated. The dressing is rich and creamy like the original. As with all raw cashew sauces this will thicken as it chills.


  1. This is genius; the capers, nutritional yeast, and peppercorns make me think this would be a perfect sub for parmesan/pepper dressing. I bet it's rich, tangy, and peppery...perfect change from oil and vinegar.

  2. Rose,

    The combo worked as I had hoped. Next time I may use brined green peppercorns instead of standard black peppercorns. I also considered using an olive or two instead of the capers if you don't have them on hand.

    I get tired of standard vinaigrettes all the time. Sometimes I like a creamy dressing as a change of pace.



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