This basil pesto vinaigrette is the perfect salad dressing to have on hand to encourage you to eat more vegetables. It only takes about 5 minutes to prep and is delicious on kale, arugula or even a pasta salad!
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The KEY to eating your veggies is having a delicious sauce or dressing to go with them. No one wants to eat a plain bowl of kale, but a bowl of kale with this delicious pesto vinaigrette smothered on it, yes please. (Hi massaged kale salad!)
This recipe takes all of five minutes to prepare and is perfect for all of your vegetable eating needs. Steamed veggies, raw veggies, pasta salad or even a marinade for your favorite protein like salmon or chicken.
You may be wondering, what’s the difference between a vinaigrette and salad dressing? A vinaigrette is usually a mix of oil and something acidic like vinegar, but in this case we’re using lemon. Dressing is more general and all encompassing, but you can use either term to describe this recipe.
Basil. It would’t be a pesto vinaigrette without basil! You’ll need about 2 cups worth of fresh basil for this recipe which gives it TONS of flavor.
Olive oil. Essential in a vinaigrette! Extra virgin olive oil makes this recipe a bit healthier than your average store bought salad dressing that uses more processed oils. It also adds a much nicer flavor than other vegetable oils, so it’s my preferred oil for vinaigrette.
Cashew Parmesan. I use my homemade cashew parmesan to keep this recipe dairy free, but regular parmesan also works, or just nutritional yeast if you want a nut free option.
Garlic. I love garlic so I put it in everything. It rounds out the other flavors of this pesto vinaigrette really well.
Lemon. We’ll be using both fresh lemon juice and a bit of zest for a little tang.
Salt/Pepper. Just to taste!
How to make this recipe
First things first, add all ingredients to a blender or food processor.
Process until smooth. Taste and adjust flavors as desired. You may want more salt, lemon juice or water to thin. Transfer to a container and store in the fridge.
How long does it keep?
Once prepared, this pesto salad dressing will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. It may separate a bit as it sits, so give it a good shake before serving.
I love this recipe with my massaged kale salad, pasta salad or even as a marinade or sauce for chicken or fish. It’s great with a white fish like tilapia, or something heartier like salmon.
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Basil Pesto Vinaigrette
- 2 cups fresh basil
- 1/3 cup cashew parmesan (click for recipe)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor.
- Process until smooth. Taste and adjust flavors as desired. You may want more salt, lemon juice or water to thin.
- Transfer to a container and store in the fridge.