Now that the weather is finally warming up, salads have started to take center stage on my table. But I will be the first to admit: I’m not a huge fan of them! I find salad to be kind of boring, tedious, and more of a chore than anything else. Until I created this creamy orange herb cashew dressing. Turns out, all I was missing from my bowl, was a little creativity.
Using cashews in sauces—like cashew Alfredo—exploded onto the cooking scene a few years ago. Once you soak them, cashews become ultra creamy, and because they are such a mild nut, are the perfect base for a whole host of dishes. And guess what? You don’t need a crazy expensive blender or food processor for this creamy orange herb cashew dressing. In fact, my blender is on its last legs and regularly turns itself off while I’m using it. So if I can do it, you can definitely make it!
Let’s talk about flavor. This dressing is bright from the orange zest and lemon juice, zesty from the garlic and onion, and fresh from the cilantro and parsley. It tastes like a happy summer day. And while I chose to use it on salad, which I highly recommend, we also poured it over cold pasta, and used it to dip carrots and crackers. And my meat-eater boyfriend also said it would be awesome with steak, if that’s your thing.
Want to recreate my bowl that is pictured with this dressing? Here’s what is inside:
- Kale massaged with olive oil
- Roasted sweet potatoes
- Lightly roasted chickpeas
Because this dressing has so much flavor, I really didn’t spice any of those ingredients! A little salt and pepper was all it took!
Creamy Orange Herb Cashew Dressing
- ¾ cup raw cashews soaked
- ¼ cup red onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ orange juiced + zest from entire orange
- 1 lemon juiced
- ⅓ cup fresh cilantro
- ⅓ cup fresh parsley
- ¼ tsp maple syrup
- ¼ tsp hot sauce or chili flakes
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground pepper
- water- as needed, I used about ¼ cup
- Begin by bringing 2 cups of water to a boil. Once it boils, remove the pan from the heat and add in the cashews. Let soak for one hour.
- After one hour, drain the cashews and add them to you blender along with the rest of the ingredients. Start with a tablespoon of water.
- Pulse a few times to mix and to break up the cashews. Add a tablespoon of water at a time until the mixture is able to spin and become completely blended. I like mine thick, so I used about ¼ cup of water total.
- Blend until creamy.
- Store the dressing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week. Enjoy!