It amazes me that so many people use bottled salad dressings. While many people are happy to eat garden greens dressed simply, with a splash of vinegar and oil, I am of the camp that says a dressing can make or break a salad. And I like variety.
Think Chocolate, Blueberry, Mango, or Raspberry Vinaigrette. Get even more antioxidants from other fruits, vegetables, and herbs, by blending them into a dressing. I love Vegan Ranch Dressing to add herbs and a sweet-sour tang, and I try to use different fruits to vary my intake.
Since every fruit, vegetable, or herb has a different mix of plant compounds, also known as phytochemicals, and since we don’t know how beneficial every one is, it makes sense to mix things up and get as wide a range as possible. Kind of like biodiversity for your stomach (and we DO know that the majority of our immunity comes from the mix of bacteria in our digestive tract.)
I had some frozen cherries leftover from making ice cream for my book (Cherry Almond Coconut Milk Ice Cream–yum!) so made a vinaigrette as another way to use cherries. In addition to being fruity and delicious, this dressing looks gorgeous on salad greens. (It would make a stunning Christmas potluck dish, sure to get you lots of comments and questions.)
Vegan Dressing Recipe: Cherry Vinaigrette
3/4 cup pitted cherries
1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar or agave nectar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1/3 cup canola or other mild oil
3 Tablespoons water
Place all ingredients into a blender. Blend until the cherries have broken down.
If you are using frozen cherries, no need to thaw them. But you may end up with some larger chunks of cherries in the dressing.