Friday focus: Salad Dressing

 

The combinations for creating interesting salads are endless, but very often, even the most basic of salad can be lifted and transformed by a delicious dressing.

 

 

Here are my three favourite, “go-to” dressings. The recipes I’m going to give you are for one serving, but they can be easily increased and the dressings can be kept, refrigerated, in a jar for up to a week.

 

 

1-      French Vinaigrette

 

The most basic of salad dressing, a French vinaigrette is rich in mustard to bring some “zing” to your salad. I like mine particularly mustardy so do not hesitate to reduce the amount of Dijon mustard to suit your taste, but remember you still need the mustard in it to emulsify the vinaigrette.

 

Ingredients:

 

2tsp Dijon mustard

 

¼tsp salt

 

¼tsp pepper

 

2tbsp vinegar of choice (I love and use organic apple cider vinegar)

 

4tbsp olive oil

 

 
Method:

 

Place all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until thickened. For a more Mediterranean version of this salad dressing, replace the Dijon mustard with 1 crushed garlic clove and replace the vinegar with fresh lemon juice.

 

 
Salade Niçoise with French vinaigrette

 

2-      Wholegrain Mustard and Balsamic Vinegar Dressing

 

This dressing is the perfect accompaniment for warm salads. The little touch of sweetness in it is unusual but delicious.

 

Ingredients:

 

1.5tsp wholegrain mustard

 

¼tsp salt

 

¼tsp pepper

 

2tbsp balsamic vinegar

 

4tbsp olive oil

 

1tsp pure maple syrup or honey

 

 

 

Method:

 

Place all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until thickened.
Rocket and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes Salad with Wholegrain Mustard and Balsamic Vinegar Dressing

 

 

 

3-      Tahini Dressing

 

The following dressing is from River Cottage Veg Every Day by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (which is one of my favourite and most used cookbooks.) This dressing accompanies the Courgette and Green Bean Salad, which you will find on page 74 of the book. It is one of my favourite salads ever, and it is fair to say that the dressing “makes” the salad.

 

Ingredients:

 

½ garlic clove, crushed with a little sea salt

 

2tbsp light tahini

 

Finely grated zest and juice of ½ lemon

 

Juice of ½ orange

 

½tsp honey

 

2tbsp olive oil

 

Salt and pepper
Method:

 

Place all the ingredients, except the olive oil, in a bowl and stir together well. If the mixture is too thick, thin it down with a little water, 1tbsp at a time until you get a creamy consistency. Finally, gently stir in the olive oil. Add some salt and pepper if needed.

 

(I have never needed to add water to thin the dressing down, but I have put this step here to respect the recipe as it is presented in the book. I have often omitted the orange juice in the past and the dressing was still lovely, but it needs the sharpness of the lemon juice to offset the richness of the tahini paste.)
Courgette and Green Beans Salad with Tahini Dressing
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