Sunday, March 20, 2011

Creamy Basil-Dill Dressing/Dip

Chloe loves ranch dressing.  She likes to dip veggies in it, dollop it on her salads, and dunk her pizza in it.  But, I don't know what it's made of.  I wanted to come up with a creamy dip that could be thinned out and also used as a dressing that rivals ranch.  This recipe is inspired by Jennifer Cornbleet, a raw food chef, and has a fresh herby flavor with a slight tang from the lemon, and the whole family likes it.

For this recipe you have to soak the cashews for at least 2 hours.  I usually soak them overnight.  The soaking time doesn't really matter, as long as the cashews are slightly plump and soft.  This will give the dip an ultra smooth texture.

As always, play with the ingredients.  If you like a more tangy flavor, add some more lemon juice; if you don't care for the taste of dill, substitute it with parsley or more basil.  Customize it!

Creamy Basil-Dill Dressing/Dip

1 cup soaked cashews
1 t salt
juice from 1 lemon
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t garlic powder
3 T fresh basil
3 T fresh dill

Cover the cashews by 1" in water and soak for at least 2 hours.  Add salt, lemon juice, onion and garlic powders.  Start the blender and add enough water to get it going.  You'll have to turn off the blender and push the ingredients down to prevent air pockets.  Add enough water, 2T at a time, until you get the desired consistency.  (I aim for a thicker consistency and stir in additional water to use as a salad dressing as needed.)  Now that the mixture is creamy and lump-free, add your fresh basil and dill.  Wizz it up for a couple more seconds.  You'll end up with a slightly green dip with flecks of green herbs.

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