Feeding one dairy-allergic son and one who LOVES cheese, sour cream, and all things dairy has taught me that dairy-free and vegan cooking can be satisfying for everyone — with the right recipes, like this cream vegan Green Goddess Salad Dressing that happens to be Paleo-friendly too.
Raw cashews are a secret vegan ingredient that, when used as a straight substitute for cheese, might leave us dairy eaters missing a little tangy something. But in a recipe like this dressing that my family is obsessed with, the flavor comes from tons of fresh herbs, fragrant garlic, and fresh lemon juice. That leaves cashews with a job that’s absolutely perfect for them: creating a thick base and creamy texture without any fatty ingredients like the mayo traditionally called for in a Green Goddess dressing.
In fact, you can even make this dressing oil-free. (I add olive oil because I think a little raw EVOO is healthy and I like the flavor and texture that it adds.)
Either way, nobody will be the wiser.
A quick note on using raw cashews if you haven’t before: Be sure to grab raw, not roasted ones, and they shouldn’t be salted either. You can soak them with warm tap water overnight or with boiling water for one hour. Either way, put the cashews in a bowl and cover by about two inches. Drain, discarding the soaking water, before using.
Creamy Vegan Cashew Green Goddess Dressing
1/2 cup soaked raw cashews (see note above), drained
1/3 cup packed washed basil
1/4 cup washed tarragon
1/4 cup washed cilantro
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil (optional, see note above)
Cold water, to desired consistency,
1. Add drained soaked cashews and everything else other than the oil and water to a blender and blend, scraping down the sides as neccessary, until the mixture won’t blend anymore.
2. Starting on low and moving to high, continue blending while slowly drizzling oil and/or water in a slow steady stream until desired consistency is reached. Use immediately or store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Recipe by our Food Editor-in-Chief Stacie Billis