I’ve been talking about doing a post on my all time favorite salad dressing for a long time now – so long, in fact, that I took this photo in June of 2006 in preparation for it. I’ve been making a version of this salad for about 8 years. In the beginning, I used a locally made bottled dressing, but I was lucky enough to discover a “taste alike” recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks several years ago. Since that discovery, there’s always a bottle of this delicious concoction mixed and ready in the fridge.
Yeast Dressing (from Hollyhock Cooks):
Into the jar of a blender add:
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (not brewer’s yeast, which is bitter and awful – look for yeast flakes such as “Red Star” brand)
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup tamari (try to find tamari as regular soy sauce or Bragg’s doesn’t taste quite the same)
- 1/3 cup cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons garlic (I often just throw a few large whole cloves in and let the blender do the work)
Blend for a minute or so until everything comes together. With the blender running, remove the lid and slowly add (in a thin, steady stream):
- 1 1/2 cups canola oil or other light vegetable oil (don’t use extra virgin olive oil as the flavor is too strong)
This will taste better if allowed to sit in the fridge for a while, but I always end up using it right away when I make a new batch. Shake well before each use. Keeps well in the refrigerator for a long time, but usually doesn’t last that long.
The dressing itself isn’t something I would want to eat a lot of on its own, but when mixed with the right salad ingredients, it becomes something entirely different. I’ve rarely had a salad that is so completely satisfying and “meaty” – I think it must be all the B vitamins in the yeast (which is another bonus of this dressing, it’s extremely good for you!).
It would be stretching it to call the following combination a recipe, but this is how I almost always use this dressing:
Fill a bowl with washed and dried lettuce (mixed greens are my favorite), crumble some feta cheese on top, add a handful of sprouted mixed beans (garbanzos, lentils, adzuki, and mung beans preferably), and pour on some dressing. Toss to mix, and enjoy.
I sometimes substitute grated cheddar for the feta, canned chick peas for the beans, and if I have it, a few slices of creamy avocado (not locally grown, I know, but I’m weak when it comes to these things!). It’s so hearty and satisfying that I regularly have a big bowl of this on its own for lunch – and I’m not a woman who would typically consider a salad a meal. ;D
Is there a salad (or salad dressing) that you just can’t live without?
See my updated (2018), low/no oil version here.