This is a lower-fat spin on the classic French dressing of olive oil, shallots and mustard for a versatile vinaigrette dressing on any concoction of leafy greens, lentils or gently blanched vegetables. The gelling properties of chia seeds and the smooth body of coconut water create a satisfying base with far less oil than the classic recipes. Because there is a little olive oil included for flavor, use top-notch, cold-pressed varieties to get the most bang for your dressing buck.

Makes about 1 cup


  • 1/2 cup pure coconut water
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. finely minced shallots (about 1 large shallot clove)
  • 1 heaping Tbsp. smooth Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. minced, fresh tarragon or 1 tsp. dried
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


    Whisk all of the ingredients together until smooth. Pour into a glass jar, cover tightly and chill for at least an hour to thicken slightly. Store chilled and use within 5 days for best flavor.

    Note: I prefer the vinaigrette simply chilled. If you want a smooth, thick dressing, pulse in a blender until the seeds are puréed.

    From Salad Samurai: 100 Cutting-Edge, Ultra-Hearty, Easy-to-Make Salads You Don't Have to Be Vegan to Love by Terry Hope Romero. Reprinted courtesy of Da Capo Lifelong Books.

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