Make your salads more exciting with a homemade sauce that ticks all the flavour boxes.
While we usually see nuts as something to sprinkle on top of our salads for a bit of crunch, they can also be combined with more liquid ingredients to create unbeatable homemade salad dressings. They can build flavour and help to create a surprisingly creamy sauce for your favourite vegetables.
Here are four of our favourite salad dressings that feature nuts:
A classic in the world of nut-based sauces, satay makes an excellent flavour partner to Asian-inspired coleslaws and salads. In a small saucepan, combine ¼ cup crunchy peanut butter, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon each of peanut oil and brown sugar and 2 crushed garlic cloves. Stir over low heat for 2 minutes until smooth then set aside to cool.
Pine nut pesto drizzle
Traditional pesto has a thicker, more paste-like consistency that makes it great for stirring through pasta. But this variation packs all the flavour of your favourite pesto with avocado and lemon juice for a runnier consistency. In a food processor, combine 2 cups of packed basil leaves, ½ cup parmesan cheese, ¼ cup pine nuts, 3 garlic cloves, ¼ lemon juice, 3 tablespoons avocado and ½ cup olive oil. Pulse until smooth and creamy, adding additional olive oil if needed.
Creamy cashew salad dressing
Used when making dairy-free substitutes for cheese, cashews have an amazing ability to make things seem extra creamy when they’re really just full of nuts. Soak ½ cup raw cashews in warm water for 2-4 hours, then drain and rinse. This pre-soaking helps to break down the enzymes and makes for a creamier finish. In the bowl of a food processor or blender, add your cashews, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 minced garlic cloves and ¼ cup water and blend until smooth.
Zingy pistachio dressing
Pistachios are a highly underrated nut that can be used to make the most divine green dressing. Grab your food processor and add1/4 cup pistachios, 1 clove garlic, 1-2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and a big handful of rocket leaves. Add a light stream of olive oil while the motor is running until you get your desired consistency. Avocado can be added for a creamier texture.