• itslaurenofcourse

Five Favorite Salad Dressings

Updated: Apr 30

You'll never be sick of salad with these on hand in your kitchen!


Back to front: White Balsamic Vinaigrette, Spring Onion & Lemon, Orange-Sesame, Carrot-Ginger, Poppyseed

Dressing a salad is the ultimate "technique, not torture" task. It's an opportunity to set the stage for a specific flavor profile, to evoke a certain mood, even to use certain ingredients that pair well with the dressing. A classic vinaigrette is made with a whisk and a mixing bowl, but there is no prohibition against using a glass jar and giving the mix a hearty shake. There are also lots of salad dressings that work best in the blender, especially the ones made from fruits and/or vegetables. Give these a try with the composed salad suggestions below and you'll have literally 20 salad ideas in your arsenal. Imagine how many options you'll have in your repertoire once you put your own spin on it!


Equipment: cutting board; chef's knife; peeler; large mixing bowl; dry and wet measuring cups; measuring spoons; whisk; blender; mason jar/glass jar

WHITE BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE: ½ cup olive oil

¼ cup white balsamic vinegar 1 small shallot, finely minced

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 1. In a large bowl, combine the vinegar, shallots, mustard, and herbs. Slowly add the oil and whisk vigorously until the mixture emulsifies. Add kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. A dollop of honey may be added if the vinegar is too sharp. Alternatively, this can be made in a glass jar by adding all of the ingredients and shaking.

Makes 3/4 cup vinaigrette. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


White Balsamic Vinaigrette uses:

Baby Spinach with Strawberries, Feta, Red Onion, & Toasted Almonds

Mixed Greens with Poached Shrimp, Summer Melons, Feta & Mint

Arugula, Mission Figs, Gorgonzola, & Toasted Hazelnuts

Dandelion Greens with Sliced Asian Pears, Chopped Dried Apricots, & Ricotta Salata


Always use bigger bowl than you think you need.

“You want to work smarter not harder. So, grab a bigger bowl than you think you need and you'll never regret it. You won't make a mess, you'll be able to move with the implements without constraint, and your results will be the best they can be. It's all about technique, not torture."


SPRING ONION AND LEMON DRESSING:

3 large purple spring onions (or 6 regular scallions), grilled, roasted, or blanched to wilted ¼ of a preserved lemon

½ cup olive oil

¼-½ cup cold water

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


1. In a blender, combine the wilted spring onions, preserved lemon, olive oil, and ¼ cup cold water. With the motor running, slowly add additional water to thin the mixture to the right consistency. Add kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.


Makes approximately 1-1¼ cup dressing. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


Spring Onion and Lemon Dressing uses:

Arugula with Avocado, Toasted Almonds, & Hemp

Mesculun with Grape Tomatoes, Radishes, & Cucumber Mixed Greens with Artichoke Hearts, Sundried Tomatoes, & Shaved Parmesan

Mix with equal parts yogurt or mayo for crudités dip or salmon salad dressing


Taste as you go.

“Start testing with your mise en place and don't stop until you serve the food. Your end product with taste of its components."


SESAME-ORANGE DRESSING:

½ cup frozen orange juice concentrate (or 1½ cups OJ boiled and reduced to ½ cup)

1/3 cup toasted sesame oil

1/3 cup vegetable oil (avocado or canola)

1/3 cup soy sauce

¼ cup seasoned rice wine vinegar (or cider vinegar)

¼ cup orange blossom honey 2 tablespoons tahini (optional)

1 garlic clove, smashed

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


1. In a blender, combine all of the ingredients and process until smooth. Alternatively, this can be made in a glass jar by replacing the garlic clove with ½ teaspoon garlic powder and adding all of the ingredients, and then shake until blended.


Makes approximately 2 cups salad dressing. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


Sesame-Orange Dressing uses:

Purple Cabbage Salad with Candied Pecans, Scallions, & Shaved Broccoli

Chinese Chicken Salad: Romaine, Grilled Chicken Breast, Oranges, Carrots, Sugar Snaps or Snow Peas, Scallions, Honey Walnuts, and Crispy Noodles

Baby Spinach with Orange Segments, Red Onion, Shaved Carrots, & Seared Salmon

Napa Cabbage Slaw with Daikon, Carrots, Scallions, & Cashews


Dress salad lightly.

“Whether creamy and thick, or juicy and thin, salad dressing should be used sparingly - just enough to coat lightly each component of the salad. Think of dressing as wet seasoning for your greens. Every item should be evenly and lightly coated."


CARROT-GINGER DRESSING:

1/3 cup avocado oil (or canola oil)

1/3 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar (or cider or distilled white)

2 large carrots, peeled, trimmed, and chopped

1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced

juice of 1 lime

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon honey

kosher salt to taste


Makes 1 cup vinaigrette. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


1. In a blender, combine all of the ingredients and process until smooth, letting the blender run for at least 30 seconds.


Carrot-Ginger Dressing uses:

Baby Romaine with Sliced Cucumber, Radishes, Tomatoes, & Grilled Steak

Steamed Whole Artichokes, Chilled and Filled with Dressing

Red Leaf Lettuce with Blanched String Beans, Sugar Snaps, Tomatoes, & Shaved Cauliflower

Dipping Sauce for California Rolls, Summer Rolls, & Terra Chips

Group like tasks.

“If you are making the carrot-ginger dressing, peel ALL the carrots first, then chop them. Do not peel and chop each one before moving on to the next."

POPPYSEED DRESSING:

¼ cup sugar

½ cup cider vinegar (or distilled white)

½ small onion, grated

1 teaspoon dry mustard (optional)

¼ cup mayonnaise (optional)

1 cup canola oil (or avocado oil)

1 tablespoon poppyseeds

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Makes 1 cup vinaigrette.


1. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, vinegar, grated onion, mustard, and optional mayonnaise. Slowly add the oil and whisk vigorously until the mixture emulsifies. Stir in the poppy seeds. Add kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.


Makes approximately 2 cups salad dressing. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


Poppyseed Dressing uses:

Baby Spinach with Strawberries, Feta, Red Onion, & Candied Pecans Broccoli Stem Slaw with Shaved Carrots, Golden Raisins, & Pistachios Chopped Chicken Breast with Red Grapes, Celery, & Toasted Walnuts

Romaine Lettuce with Sliced Mango, Scallions, Macadamia Nuts, & Grilled Chicken Breast


Stabilize your work surfaces.

“Shape a rag into a donut and place it beneath your bowl so it does not wobble. When making a vinaigrette or salad dressing, for instance, you need one hand to whisk and the other to pour the oil slowly and steadily. The towel essentially holds the bowl while you mix."

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