Raw Ranch Dressing, a recipe.

Would you like a little salad with that dressing?

Salad1

Huge green salad with shredded raw beets, sliced cucumbers, raw broccoli florets, a sprinkling of ground sesame seeds & nooch, topped with delicious globs of Raw Ranch Dressing.

Ranch dressing isn’t something I really ate much of pregan, but once I’d been living overseas for a few years it was one of the things I found myself craving, oddly enough. The collective unconscious has so strongly identified certain “comfort foods” as a cultural evidence, it just seemed natural to my feeling-homesick-psyche to crave Ranch Dressing.

Or was it?

After years of falling victim to the unrelenting advertising industry in the United States, my subconscious had somehow been trained in an eerily Pavlovian way to associate certain food products (the key word being “products”) with certain feelings or moments in my life. From, “You deserve a break today.” to “How do you spell relief.”, my early childhood was punctuated by the advertising leviathan guiding my emotionally-driven consumption habits like a malevolent GPS, and I’d been trained to equate specific feelings such as homesickness with greeting cards, or homecomings with fresh-brewed coffee, happy, smiling family dinners with ranch dressing, etc.

salad2

Battavia lettuce, cucumbers, dulse and ranch!

Like most everyone I’ve been enjoying loads of fresh, raw produce this summer, and I found myself thinking about traditional dips for crudités and such. I knew I had some almonds soaking in my fridge, and so decided to try my hand at creating a little raw ranch goodness, because agribusiness doesn’t have a monopoly on my creativity, baby.

Ladies and Gents, it was a delicious success.

Raw Ranch Dressing

  • 125g almonds (about two handfuls), soaked 24-48 hours
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 T dried parsley (I way  used more, but I’m Punk Rock like that)
  • 1/2 T dried thyme
  • 1/2 T dried sage
  • 1/2 T oregano
  • squirt agave (optional)
  • 1/4 olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • splash apple cider vinegar
  • salt & pepper to taste

Be sure to rinse your almonds very, very well. Soaking them for 24 hours is probably enough, but I don’t have a Vita Mix, and find my poky blender does better if they’ve been soaking longer. Add the almonds, water, lemon juice and vinegar and blend really well, next add everything else, stopping to scrape down the sides if your herbs get all crazy. You may also want to start with a little less herbage – I’m crazy about the stuff. Ta-da!

You may find this to be a little thick to use as a salad dressing (though perfect for dipping cruditiés). Just add a little water to thin it out.

ranch

Live-shot from the Shellyfish fridge : on the left, equal parts nooch and sesame seeds, sprinkled on all my salads. On the right, raw ranch goodness.

This made a huge amount, but I can’t tell you how much – that little jar is about a quarter of what I had. I am also unable to tell you how long it will keep – I was still eating it a week later, then Monsieur Fish (vegan by default, not by conviction) devoured all that was left dipping Seitan Is My Motor‘s fantastical Zucchini Bread in it (I’ll be blogging about it soon). As I’ve mentioned before, he is not a big fan of raw cuisine, but he just went crazy over this stuff. When I told him it was made with almonds, not tofu, he was shocked.

So go make yourself some healthy and delicious ranch dressing kids. It’s the thing to do.

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