Makes about 2 cups

When I lived in Peterborough, N.H., in the early 1990s, I had two obsessions: One was the lettuce mix from organic farming pioneer Rosaly Bass, who charmed me so much I signed up for a subscription that let me and a handful of others pick what we wanted off her land all season long. (I tended to swing by at midnight after a long day as editor of the weekly Monadnock Ledger and shovel up carrots by moonlight.) The other was this addictively pungent salad dressing, made by chef Hiroshi Hayashi at his elegant, health-minded Japanese restaurant, Latacarta. While Rosaly's farm is still going strong (it’s the state’s oldest certified organic farm),  Hayashi long ago closed the restaurant and started the Monadnock School of Natural Cooking and Philosophy, where he continued making this vegan dressing for many years. He died in 2012. I use the concoction to dress simple salads of butter lettuce with cherry tomatoes and carrots, taking care to slice them into perfect julienne the way I remember Hayashi did, and I have since learned that you can substitute in any herb you like, any vinegar, any oil, and have played around with many a combination. This also makes an excellent dip for crudites.


  • 1 12-ounce block silken tofu, drained

  • 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves

  • 1/4 large bunch parsley (about 1 cup roughly chopped leaves and stems)

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Combine all the ingredients in a blender or the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Joe Yonan
Joe Yonan is the Food and Dining editor of The Washington Post and author of Eat Your Vegetables: Bold Recipes for the Single Cook (Ten Speed Press, 2013).