I have been searching for a good creamy salad dressing for a while now. Ranch having been my dressing of choice. And although some of my sainted friends have learned to love the taste of greens without dressing, I have yet to join their ranks.
Part of the difficulty has been my reluctance to rely on Mayo substitutes, or silken tofu to provide the creaminess desired. The closest thing I had found to date was a dressing utilizing white beans, but it just wasn’t quite right.
Enter, the humble Chia seed. Among other things it is neutral in taste, and jells up quite nicely just by sitting in water for a few minutes therefore making it an effective thickener.
And to be quite frank with you, that’s enough for me. Even without Chia’s impressive nutritional profile. However, it does have the bonus of containing a lovely balance of Essential Fatty Acids, in addition to high levels of protein, calcium, and magnesium. The most interesting aspect of these tiny seeds however, is that they look kind of like miniature pinto beans. O.k., maybe it’s not the most interesting thing, but I did find myself wondering why a Chia website had a close up photo of pinto beans on it. And then I looked closely at my own Chia seeds, ;-).
And so tonight I have a least partially solved the creamy dressing dilemma.
Creamy House Dressing
Place in blender:
2 teaspoons Chia seeds
1/2 cup water
Just let them sit for 15 minutes.
1/4 cup cashews
an additional 1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon dijon-style mustard
Some fresh chives (optional)
Blend until well combined and pulverized.
The chives could also be added at the end after all the blending is finished.