I recently sampled a new-to-me, super-healthy line of “classic” salad dressings called Tessemae’s, with varieties like Caesar and yes, Ranch. But let’s be clear: this is not your mama’s Ranch dressing.
I sampled just a taste of Tessamae’s Ranch Dressing on its own, and then both Tony and I enjoyed it on some monster salads. Here was our honest reaction …
- Me: “It tastes like pickles!”
- Tony: “Good, I like pickles!” ~ Grabs his big salad and digs in.
- Me: “Well, what do you think? Does it taste like pickles?”
- Tony: “I don’t know, it’s really good.” ~ confirmation that it tastes like pickles; the man loves pickles!
Whether you’re dairy-free or not, if you are a fan of dill, you will love this dressing. Its bold, tangy herbaciousness (a word I made up just to describe this Tessemae’s dressing) holds its own with every bite of hearty greens, and does so with a fairly light profile. Just 20 calories, 2 grams of fat and no sugar, allowing me to justify the near 1/4 cup I put on each of our jumbo garden bowls.
The Caesar Dressing is bold, spicy (very peppery!) and tangy with a unique savory, relatively creamy yet vinegar-y vibe that could perhaps be like Caesar. In all honesty, I’ve never had a traditional Caesar salad due to the dairy. That said, this Tessemae’s flavor goes very well with canned fish indeed, but it can also amp up a strictly vegetarian salad since the ingredients are all vegan! This dressing is still quite light, but double the indulgence of the Ranch with 40 calories and 4 grams of fat (still no sugar!) per serving.
Tessemae’s French Vinaigrette is such a delightful twist on tradition with just the perfect hint of sweetness, but less than 1 gram of sugars per tablespoon! I loved the rich but somewhat light flavor and consistency that melds perfectly with summer greens or slightly salty salad toppings that are begging for contrast from that light touch of honey (sorry, this one isn’t strictly vegan!). Like most pure vinaigrettes, this Tessemae’s Classic is a little more indulgent, with 80 calories and 8 grams of fat per tablespoon.
Truth be told, I’m really picky about Italian vinaigrette. It has to be just the right balance. Tessemae’s Italian was close, with a pleasant, not overly sharp flavor and the perfect natural seasonings, but it was a bit too greasy for me. I prefer vinaigrette to have a little less oil in the finish. This one goes into my “marinade only” category.
To note, the very natural nature of Tessemae’s causes them to thicken in the refrigerator … a lot. The Ranch and Caesar are made with real coconut milk, which likes to set-up when chilled. Just run the bottle under a little tepid water and then give it a shake or let it sit for 5 minutes out of the refrigerator and give it a shake. Since the vinaigrettes are made with cold-pressed olive oil, they like to thicken and separate when cool, too, but the same steps made them wonderfully pour-able.
Once I got past the fact that Tessemae’s are quite different from the overly-processed salad dressings we see on most store shelves, I craved the bold flavors that really amped up both green and grain salads. The beyond healthy ingredients (totally free from funny business, paleo and even Whole30 compliant!) really have me sold – Tessemae’s could definitely be worth a weekly budget splurge for our household.
Certifications: Tessemae’s Classics Salad Dressings are Certified Paleo, Certified Kosher Parve, and Certified Gluten Free.
Dietary Notes: By ingredients, Tessemae’s Classics Salad Dressings are dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and vegetarian. Select varieties are vegan. Nonetheless, check with the company on their manufacturing processes for all varieties if potential allergen cross-contamination is an issue for you. Processes and labeling are subject to change at any time for any company / product.
For More Product Information: Visit Tessemae’s website at www.tessemaes.com. And yes, they do ship their dressings direct to customers nationwide! But if you prefer, you can order their products on Amazon, too.