Salad Dressings

Welcome to spring!
I say this to myself when I go to the Farmer’s Market around this time of year.  While the weather could be doing anything, it is lettuce season!  For me, this means lots of salads for lunch and dinner.  While I love all the greens, I am a dressing person.  Salad dressing that is.

For this post, I reached out to some friends to get some good salad dressing recipe ideas.

From Magdalen (borrowed from Bon Appetit — the salad was lame, the dressing was great!):

Orange/fennel/shallot salad dressing recipe

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill (or fennel, which is what we used)
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
Whisk orange juice, lime juice, shallot, 2 Tbsp. dill, and zest in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in remaining 1/2 cup oil; season orange vinaigrette with salt and pepper.
From Jan Elliott:

Vinaigrette
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
6 TBS oil — extra virgin olive, or 1/2 safflower 1/2 olive
1 TBS good balsamic vinegar (Villa Manodori is great)
1 TBS lemon juice
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp prepared horseradish
1″ squeeze anchovy paste
1 small clove garlic, pressed

Mix very thoroughly. Taste & adjust (often needs more olive oil or a little sweetener). Mix or shake well just before using.

From Ted Abbott:
I love sauces, mine are mostly for dipping. You could put this one on a salad if you like it hot:
To a base of a cup of mayo, add hot sauce, lemon juice, soy sauce and for ultimate flavor, oyster sauce available in Asian section. Mix until consistent.
From Laura Itzkowitz:
Honey mustard dressing has been my latest salad dressing obsession – dijon mustard, white vinegar, honey, and black pepper. I don’t measure any of them, just add as much as tastes good.
From a restaurant in Nashville we ate at a few weeks ago:
Chili-Grapefruit Vinaigrette
1 Tablespoon Grapefruit Zest
3 Tablespoons Grapefruit Juice
2 teaspoons Chili Powder
1 Tablespoon White Wine Vinegar
pinch of salt and sugar to taste
pinch of cayenne
1/2 cup Olive Oil or Walnut Oil
My current favorite: 
This recipe comes from The New Moosewood Cookbook.  This is the sauce for Gado gado — which is apparently an Indonesian dish.  I just love the peanut butter based sauce on my salad!
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 Tbsp (heaping) grated ginger
1 Tbsp (heaping) minced garlic – I used Green Garlic last week.
3 Tbsp brown sugar (or a bit less is ok)
11/2 cups hot water (I use a bit less ~1.15 cups)
4 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp soy sauce (we use tamari)
1 tsp salt (more if the peanut butter is unsalted)
Put it all in a food processor & let it whirl!  This is where I will add the water a bit at a time to see how smooth it is.  This makes a lot of dressing – I’m sure it would be easy to cut the recipe in half.
So- those are some salad recipes.  I have not tried them all – but they all sound good.
Before I go, I should just take a moment to say — if you are an oil & vinegar person.  I still think you are doing things right.  We do an oil & balsamic reduction on our salad at least twice a week ourselves.  Sometimes simple is best!
Please post some of your favorite salad dressing recipes in the comments! I’d love to hear about what you enjoy.
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