Vinaigrette Dressing: Adding A Touch of Zest to Any Salad
It’s definitely easy and fun to put together various fruits and vegetables to make an interesting and superb salad. But what is really mind boggling in the end is the dressing… what dressings go best with the salads we’ve put together.
Different dressings go best with different types of salad. For example, a mango and shrimp salad on Boston lettuce with avocado, red pepper, and cilantro would taste great with a dressing of olive oil, peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, and jalapeño pepper. How about a salad of spinach, capers, and hard boiled eggs with onions and feta cheese? A blueberry dressing would provide the perfect accompaniment to this salad mix. A lemon dill dressing would be the perfect match to a salad of hard boiled eggs, beets, blanched green beans, cucumbers, and yellow and red tomatoes on green leaves. Finally, a romaine and strawberry salad goes really well with a sweet molasses dressing.
If we stretch our imagination and creativity a little, the dressings we make at home for our salads can become innovative and interesting. Salad dressing is easy to make, as most of them have oil and vinegar as their base ingredients, with salt and a little spice. A sweet ingredient is also often added to the mix to round off its flavor. Given this base, the possibilities for new dressings are endless.
Here are some dressings you may want to try at home.
Blue cheese dressings are great with loose-leaf lettuce, such as a Boston lettuce. For a blue cheese dressing, you will need:
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Juice of half a lemon
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 cup vegetable oil, or canola oil
- 1/3 cup blue cheese
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced
In a small pan, heat the olive oil over a medium flame (about 140 degrees). Next, mix the egg yolks and mustard in a blender for about 20 seconds. Add the salt and the lemon and blitz for another few seconds. Run the blender at a slow speed and slowly blend in the heated olive oil. One it has been fully incorporated into the mixture, add the canola or vegetable oil until it is well blended. Pour this mixture into a serving container and mix in the crumbled blue cheese and sage.
A blueberry dressing works best with simple green salad without tomatoes. For blueberry dressing, you will need:
- 1 cup frozen blueberries, thawed
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon mint, chopped
- Salt and black pepper to taste
Simply combine all the ingredients into a Mason jar, or similar container, and shake vigorously to combine.
A sweet and sour Dijon dressing would work great with a salad of shredded Brussell sprouts. You will need:
- ½ cup cider vinegar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- Salt and balck pepper to taste
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
Using a medium sized saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, lemon juice, and garlic. Bring this to a simmer for about two minutes to cook the garlic. Once simmered through and garlic has cooked, whisk in the mustard, salt and pepper, and olive oil. Transfer your dressing to a container and it is ready to serve.