If any of you have been following my posts, you’ll know that a recent discovery of mine has been the grilled romaine salad. I discovered it in a BBQ restaurant in Michigan, and have been in love ever since. I won’t get into the deets (details) of why I love it so much as I have already done that in another post and I don’t want to put you through that drama again! Just trust me when I say that it is awesome. Now that it is summer, there is a dressing out there that screams picnic to me. It was always a staple at family gatherings growing up. Ranch. I am sure many of you know that name and almost all of you have had a salad or some vegetables smothered in that stuff. Great. Bring it. Whoa, wait. The problem with that is, it’s made with buttermilk and mayonnaise. Neither of those are on my “OK to eat” list. Dairy is out for me likely for life, and mayo contains egg which are on my short term “not allowed” list. Now how do I dress my new favourite salad leaves this summer if I can’t have my favourite childhood dressing?!?! Look to the Vegans I say! Vegan ranch dressing.
My Vegan Creamy Herb Dressing, or “Ranch Style” Dressing, is, in my opinion, better than the real thing and guess what? No buttermilk, and no eggs. This beauty of a dressing gets all of its creamy richness from coconut milk. That’s right, that wonderful palm fruit found in the tropics. Beauty. When you add the lemon juice, it offsets some of the coconut flavour and gives it a nice bit of acidity to cut the richness or the coconut milk. Now, throw in a bunch of different herbs and some garlic, and you’ve got yourself a mouth party. I use fennel in this recipe as I like the licorice flavour. If you don’t want to or can’t find it. Omit it. The dressing will still be great. I use fresh ingredients here. If you are going to use dry, I would cut the amounts by half first and add a little more of each after your first taste if it still needs it.
The toppings are simple. I use only mushrooms and leeks. Nothing else. You can add crisped bacon if you want as that will work well with the flavours going on here. The mushrooms are salted and left sitting for a good 20-30 mins before searing in a hot pan. I like to do this as I find the mushrooms sweeter. The leeks are simple chopped small and fried in some olive oil. The tomatoes are sprayed with oil and set on the grill until the skin wrinkles. You don’t have to use vine cherry tomatoes, and you don’t have to grill if you prefer not to. I had the grill going obviously and thought “why the heck not?”.
So give this salad a try. So simple, but so good. Add or remove your fave toppings as you see fit. Throw the dressing on everything. You’ll be glad you did.Print
Vegan Creamy Herb Dressing
A dressing for all occasions! Well maybe not all, but most.
- 3/4 cup coconut cream
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 3 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 tbsp chives (finely chopped)
- 1 tbsp parsley (finely chopped)
- 1 tbsp basil (finely chopped)
- 1 tbsp fennel fronds (finely chopped)
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/4-1/2 tbsp salt
- 1/2 tsp Pepper or to taste
- place can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight to separate the cream from the milk (or use a can of coconut cream and a can of coconut milk).
- finely chop all herbs
- add all ingredients to a bowl
- whisk thoroughly