As with most great recipes, this one has a good story. One of both tradition and deceit. I first tried a version of this mind altering dressing about 12 years ago at a great West County restaurant. Chef Tai Olesky owned a cool spot named Mosaic in Forestville. His house salad was tender lettuces, blue cheese, toasted almonds, and sliced apples with a rich and somehow familiar dressing. I had never tried this dressing before, but the flavors brought me back. Learning later that the ingredients included such hippie classics as apple cider vinegar, nutritional yeast and tamari made perfect sense. I, like Tai, grew up in Sonoma County in the 80’s. We were both children of “back-to-the-earth” hippies. He claimed this recipe as his own secret and made a small name for himself on its back.
Fast-forward a few years later, when my brother Will returned from a Hollyhock Retreat center, on Vancouver Island, with a recipe book from their cafeteria kitchen. It turned out the house salad recipe from that book was the same recipe as our local celebrity Tai’s. It made sense, since Tai’s dad is a famous astrologer who probably did workshops up that way.
Hey, half of our recipes come from somewhere, with little stories behind them, just like this one. We love this recipe so much that we knew Handline needed to use it as it’s house dressing. We have simplified the salad to just lettuces, pumpkin seeds and radishes, but we still love the version Tai used to make. I recommend playing with the recipe by using your favorite tamari. It will change the recipe in small ways.
Since opening in 2016 we have had literally hundreds of requests for us to publish this recipe. So here it is. Make it at home as YOUR house dressing and enjoy!
Handline House Dressing
1.5 C Nutritional Yeast
2/3 Cup Tamari or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
3/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
4 Tablespoons minced garlic
2 cup Olive Oil
Blend all ingredients except oil in a blender. Slowly add the oil with the blender on high to fully emulsify dressing. Store dressing, in an airtight container, for up to a month in the fridge.