I like to make my own dressings instead of buying them. If you keep decent ingredients at home, it’s relatively easy to do and tastes exactly as you like it.
My basic recipe goes as such:
1/2 cup good olive oil
(Good olive oil is worth the money, go to Con’ Olio for amazing flavors of oils and vinegars and samples!!)
1/3 cup good vinegar
(again see above regarding oil. Same deal. Depndingon the tone of the dressing use champagne, red wine or balsamic vinegar. Con Olio has this amazing pineapple white balsamic which is heaven.)
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 to 1 tbsp honey or agave nectar
To this base you can add citrus juices, capers, zests, garlic or shallot and so forth. I like orange and lemon the most, but below are some other fun combos I’ve used for dinner parties.
1/2 cup good extra virgin olive oil (or thereabouts)
1/8 cup champagne vinegar
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar (scant, but I love balsamic. This would be good with a white balsamic as well)
1 small shallot, finely minced
1 heaping tsp sugar
1/2 cup finely grated green apple
salt and pepper
Mix and let mellow a bit and then toss completely over field greens
But I did make a really awesome salad and salad dressing.
Juice of 2-3 small limes
1/8 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 tbsp sugar or agave nectar
small handful fresh cilantro
blend the juice, mango, sugar, salt, vinegar and cilantro in the cuisinart. Add oil slowly to emulsify. Adjust sugar to taste.
The salad itself was field greens, chopped mango, roasted poblano pepper strips, pumpkin seeds.
The thing about the poblano is that it might be super hot or it might not. I roasted, peeled and deveined mine, but damn…it was so spicy I knew no one would enjoy it. I got this wild idea to cook it in olive oil with some sugar added. I don’t know if I remembered seeing it, but I did recall this thing about sugar taking some of the heat out of chile. Anyway, it did the trick and the poblano was smoky, nicely hot and a touch sweet.
The salad was delicious, and if you like avocado, add that too! It was a very good salad, and all that a salad should be. Full of antioxidants, vitamins and flavor. Some shredded chicken would have been nice, but not required.
I love using zest as a finishing touch on a salad. Use the zest of whatever citrus you are using and it adds an amazing aromatic layer to the dish. So sensual and amazing.
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