Tea House Vinaigrette

Prep: 5 minutes

Serves:Makes about 1 cup

By Linda Vallin
I love all of the tofu-based dressings, but sometimes I just want a big bowl of fluffy greens with a nice vinaigrette. My pre-McDougall standard was 1/3 c. red wine vinegar, 2/3 c. olive oil, 2 cloves garlic, salt and pepper. I love Ann Esselstyn's magic walnut sauce, and something I stumbled on while surfing the web recently started me thinking about how to modify it into a vinaigrette. The article suggested lowering the fat in salad dressings by substituting black tea for some of the oil. This is what I came up with. It clings nicely to the lettuce leaves, has just the right amount of acidity, and tastes great!


  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 2/3 cup decaf black tea (cooled)
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste


Put the first three ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Squeeze the garlic through a garlic press and add to dressing ingredients. Season with black pepper and salt, if desired, while tossing with the salad ingredients

Variations: Substitute pecans for the walnuts and use fig or balsamic vinegar.

Substitute almonds for the walnuts and use rice vinegar and jasmine tea, maybe with a bit of ginger instead of the garlic.

Make the Oriental Dijon dressing from the Quick & Easy Cookbook (my all-time favorite), but use decaf oolong, green or jasmine tea in place of the water.

Use 1/3 cup green olives (cured in brine, no added oil) in place of the walnuts.

Add fresh herbs.