The Well-Dressed Salad | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 02 August 2012 15:54

080212fSummertime is salad time. As temperatures creep up to the 80°F mark and above, nothing makes a more refreshing meal than a cool, healthy salad. 

What you put on your salad is as important as what you put in it. The most basic of dressings is vinaigrette, the closest thing to an all-purpose sauce.

BASIC VINAIGRETTE

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons or more of a good wine vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 large shallot, peeled and cut into chunks

Combine all ingredients except the shallot in a blender and turn the machine on. A creamy emulsion will form within 30 seconds. Taste and add more vinegar, a teaspoon or two at a time, until the balance tastes right.

Add the shallot and turn the machine on and off a few times until the shallot is minced within the dressing.

Taste, adjust seasoning and serve.

This dressing is best made fresh, but will keep a few days in the refrigerator. Before using, bring back to room temperature and whisk briefly.

TOMATO SALAD DRESSING

3 tomatoes, peeled seeded and finely chopped

1/3 cup tomato juice

1 garlic clove, crushed

2 scallions, finely chopped

3 tablespoons parsley, chopped

1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped

4 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1/2 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in medium bowl and chill for 1 hour. Serve over a garden fresh salad and enjoy! Makes 1-1/2 cups.

THOUSAND ISLAND DRESSING

1/3 cup sour cream

1/4 cup plain lowfat yogurt

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon dry white wine

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste

3 tablespoons finely chopped scallion

2 tablespoons each finely chopped dill pickle, sweet pickle and parsley

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Pinch of salt

In large bowl, whisk together sour cream, yogurt and mayonnaise. Whisk in tomato paste, wine, lemon juice, mustard and anchovy paste. Stir in remaining ingredients. If making ahead, cover and refrigerate for up to a week. Makes 1-1/4 cups.

CREAMY CUCUMBER & AVOCADO DRESSING

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 English cucumber

1 avocado, peeled and pitted

1 cup baby spinach

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

2 green onions

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

Purée all ingredients with 3/4 cup water in a food processor until smooth. Makes 2 cups.

GREEN GODDESS DRESSING

1 to 2 tablespoons anchovy paste

1 cup sour cream

1-1/2 teaspoons spice blend or seasoned salt

3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

2 cups mayonnaise

3 to 5 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 medium onion, minced

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1 tablespoon tarragon vinegar

1/2 teaspoon celery seeds

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/2 ripe avocado, mashed

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Few drops green food coloring (optional)

Combine ingredients in blend-er and blend until smooth. Makes 3-1/4 cups.

(Most people think it is the avocado that makes it green, but it actually gets a nice boost from the food coloring.)

HONEY-MUSTARD DRESSING

3 cups mayonnaise

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup prepared mustard

1/4 cup white vinegar

1/4 onion, minced

1/4 bunch parsley, chopped

1 cup oil

Combine first 7 ingredients, then blend in oil and chill about 1 hour before serving. Yields 4 cups.

BLUE CHEESE DRESSING

3/4 cup sour cream

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/3 teaspoon garlic powder

4 ounces blue cheese

Mix together in blender, all but blue cheese, and blend 2 minutes at medium speed. Crumble blue cheese by hand into very small pieces and add to sour cream mixture blending at low speed for 3 minutes. Allow dressing to sit in refrigerator for 24 hours before using. Makes about 2-1/2 cups.

ORIGINAL RANCH DRESSING

1 cup buttermilk

2 cups mayonnaise

1 teaspoon grated onion

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

1 garlic clove, finely minced

1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt

Pepper to taste

Slowly stir buttermilk into mayonnaise, using a fork or wire whisk. Add remaining ingredients and stir until well blended.

Cover and refrigerate for several hours. Makes 3 cups.

 

 


 

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