When I stepped outside this morning the wind whipped past with a cold bite for the first time in months. Instead of a warm damp humidity the air has dried out along with the cottonwood leaves. Despite sunshine and 70 degree temperatures I dare say that summer is starting to slip a bit. September is always an interesting month when it comes to produce. The cooler temperatures make you think of apple cakes and warm bean soups but for gardeners and those who frequent the farmer’s market early September means a bounty of tomatoes, fall lettuce, carrots, and more.

Early in the Summer I began to play around with ingredients to create a healthy Caesar salad dressing that did not contain a mountain of mayonnaise (fat-free or otherwise). After several experiments I landed on a recipe that uses firm silken tofu to create a creamy base. When blended with fresh garlic, tangy vinegar, and a bit of savory anchovy paste the result is a fantastic smooth dressing that packs the added benefit of soy protein. Aggressive flavors typically found in a Caesar salad completely mask the tofu, turning it into the perfect substitution for mayonnaise. We enjoy this dressing so much that it often doesn’t make it onto a salad but instead lands in the middle of a veggie platter starring as a healthy and addictive dip. It is just what you need to work through the last veggies of summer and would be an excellent way to slip a bit of low-fat food into fall football parties. Or if you have a love for big croutons, curls of Parmesan, and crunchy Romain it is the perfect dressing for a guilt free Caesar salad.

Healthy Ceasar Salad Dressing and Dip (Printable Recipe)
Makes Approximately 2 cups

2-4 cloves garlic (start with 2 cloves and add more to taste)
1 12-oz package Firm Silken Tofu
2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
2 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
4 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
2 teaspoons Anchovy Paste
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/2 lemon, juiced

Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Keep dressing chilled until ready to use. Dressing will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.

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