Creamy Pesto Salad Dressing

So the other night I was craving a spinach salad, but wanted a yummy, creamy pesto dressing to top it off.  I mixed together a few things, and here’s what I came up with:

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You can see the spinach, right???  It’s there, see that little spot of green… right there… under the bacon… next to the hard-boiled eggs… and drizzled with:

Creamy Pesto Salad Dressing

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 4+ tablespoons Nut-Free Pesto (click for recipe)
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin, cold pressed olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • salt & pepper to taste

Whisk together all ingredients, excluding salt & pepper.  The dressing will gradually thicken.  Add salt & pepper to taste.  Chill in refrigerator.  Enjoy!

Nut-Free Pesto

My husband has a few nut allergies, so I made this nut-free alternative.  This pesto sauce is perfect to warm up and drizzle over chicken or an omelette, add to your favorite pasta, or even blend into a salad dressing!

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Nut-Free Pesto:

  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves, torn from stems
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin, cold pressed olive oil
  • 1/4 heaping cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, soft
  • salt & pepper to taste

Combine the basil, garlic, and oil in a food processor, pulsing until finely chopped.  With the machine on, slowly add cheese and butter.  Add salt & pepper to taste.

Kitchen tips: Wash & thoroughly dry the basil leaves to avoid a soggy pesto sauce.  Garlic cloves can vary in size, so start with two cloves, taste & add more as needed.  Get a little heavy-handed with the parmesan, it’s ok.  Pesto should keep in the refrigerator, covered for up to 5 days.

Now if you absolutely must have nuts, I recommend toasting 1/4 pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat, allow them to cool completely, then and add to the processor with the basil & garlic.

Enjoy!