Lemon Basil + Oil Free = Dare to Dress

A salad, that is. I spent some time looking up various “oil free” dressings, and while I did find some that looked pretty good, I was also kind of surprised that many people just put in less oil and call it a day. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging. I love olive oil more than life itself, but I really wanted to try this oil free thing, so I took some tips here and there and set off to make my own. Warning: this a punchy dressing, so unless you love bold flavors, take down one or a couple of the more intense ingredients (garlic, ginger, lemon zest), or just make sure you’re pairing it with a dish that can handle a kick, which was my strategy.

Oil Free Lemon Basil Dressing


  • 3 tbsp vegetable stock
  • 2 cloves smashed garlic (roast first if you want this to be milder)
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • juice of half a lemon
  • zest of half a lemon (about 1 tbsp)
  • pinch of black pepper
  • big pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  • 2 tbsp silken tofu

Makes about 1 cup of dressing.

Literally, all you have to do is drop everything into a blender and pulse it until it’s a smooth liquid, and you’re done.

I made some couscous, which I knew was going to help mellow out the dressing, and to that, I added some spring mix lettuce, kale that I had massaged with a touch of lemon juice, tomatoes, cucumber, grated carrots, apple, and kidney beans. Pour in as much dressing as you need to meet your taste and toss so everything is evenly coated. This makes a super fresh summer meal. I think it would be quite lovely for a picnic with friends.

This entry was posted in Dressing, Healthy, Salad, Summer, Vegan and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Lemon Basil + Oil Free = Dare to Dress

  1. Girl, this sounds wonderful. Oil-free dressings are it for me – never going back – but I’m in a rut, always making the same basic one. Adding this to my repertoire. Such as it is.

    • bar says:

      What kind do you usually make?

      Yeah, I’m realizing oil free is really not that difficult!

      • My standard is pretty boring: splash of OJ, splash of apple cider or red wine vinegar, splash of soy sauce, crushed garlic, smidge of Dijon mustard and salt and pepper. If I’m feeling crazy, a tiny bit of nutritional yeast.

  2. Hehe, couldn’t resist. Went right into the kitchen and made a batch. Took literally minutes. I had no silken tofu (!) so used unsweetened coconut yogurt. Worked like a charm! Love it, Barb!

    • bar says:

      Yay!!!! I’m so happy it worked out for you, and I love the yogurt idea – that sounds even better! I’ll have to get some.

  3. Pingback: Other People’s Food (5): Green Beans and An Oil-free Salad Dressing « anunrefinedvegan

  4. I think i will jump on the oil-free bandwagon now….great recipe!

  5. Somer says:

    Fabulous! I use homemade oil free dressings on a daily basis! Adding this one to the rotation!

  6. Sophie33 says:

    I just read about your famous no-oil dressing at the unrefined vegan & loved it so much! You are very creative! πŸ™‚ A must make!

  7. Pingback: Curried Couscous & Vegetable Salad « anunrefinedvegan

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