What's the deal with salad dressing, everybody? For real. Have you looked at the ingredients on a bottle of the stuff recently? Scary. In order for a bottle of Catalina or Ranch or 1000 Island (yuck) to keep an even texture, it must be pumped full of all kinds of preservatives and non-foods. While it looks pretty being poured like glue from the bottle, it really doesn't provide us much nutritional benefit. More often than not, it's packed with sugar, gluten derivatives, and dairy... yet when it's sold in stores, it's on the shelves and not in the refrigerated section. There's a red flag that something is, erm, modified, right?
I have good news, though. Salad dressing isn't to be avoided forever and always. When it's made with great ingredients, it's actually a nourishing thing to have with veggies! Not only does dressing add a little zip to a salad, it actually makes salad more nutritious. The vitamins in vegetables are more easily absorbed by the body with a little fat, and when that fat is non-hydrogenated and as unrefined as possible, it adds fullness to a meal.
Take this homemade Buttery Tahini Dill Dressing! It's made with a combination of olive oil and tahini, which make it not only deliciously rich-tasting, but creamy like a Caesar dressing. The unsaturated fat from the olives and the sesame act as perfect little vehicles for veggie vitamins... and they make for an exciting - not sadly lacking - salad.
I made up a batch of this last week for my sister-in-law's bridal shower and it went over very well! The salad bar was beautifully stocked with greens, peppers, olives, grape tomatoes and chickpeas: this went really well with all of those, and we used the leftovers the next night with this a glorious Caesar-esque spinach salad with crumbled tempeh (recipe coming soon).
This takes just a few minutes to whip up and trumps all other dressings for clean ingredients and flavor. Michael's assessment? "This tastes like butter [in a good way]!".
The recipe below will make a pretty big batch that will keep well in the fridge. Try it on your favorite salad, with a whole grain, or as a dip. #yum :)
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- juice of 4 fresh lemons
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 2 handfuls fresh dill, stems removed
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.