If you’re looking for a budget-friendly take on a creamy basil pesto salad dressing, you’ve found it! By substituting expensive pine nuts for a low-budget alternative, this pesto-inspired basil salad dressing packs in heaps of flavor at a very cheap price!
Put all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
Adjust the texture: Since this basil salad dressing contains peanuts, it’s naturally slightly chunky. If you want a smoother sauce, you’ll need to process it for longer. Alternatively, to help get a smoother lemon basil dressing, you can soak the peanuts in cold water for around 7-8 hrs. (overnight works best). As a bonus, soaking the peanuts can also neutralize the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors making them easier to digest, cause less bloating, and even increase your vitamin and mineral absorption.
Experiment with the herbs: This sounds a bit odd to write on a basil pesto vinaigrette recipe, but you can experiment with substituting the basil for other herbs/greens like cilantro, mint, or even arugula, etc.
If you can’t get fresh basil: Then you can still make a ‘cheat’ version of this pesto salad dressing by replacing the basil with any store-bought basil pesto.
Can I make a creamy basil dressing that is nut and seed-free? You may be able to make a version of this dressing using cooked white beans in place of the peanuts, which are neutral in flavor AND low budget (yay!). However, we haven’t tried – so can’t guarantee results.