Northeast Times

Dress up your salads

Get in the swing of spring with a re­fresh­ing salad.

Has this winter made you grow as a per­son? Now that it’s spring, do you feel there is more of you to love? And are you not lov­ing this de­vel­op­ment? Feel like the words pleas­ingly plump, zaftig and Rube­nesque are get­ting a little too per­son­ally de­script­ive? Clearly, this is the sea­son for big salads, not big buns. We needed some of those com­fort­ing winter carbs that gave us en­ergy to shovel that snow, but spring and sum­mer call for salads.

Don’t des­pair. Re­duce por­tions, ex­er­cise, and get out your salad bowl. Thank­fully, there’s an abund­ance and vari­ety of fresh greens avail­able at our mar­kets today. Com­bine these greens with car­rots, pep­pers, cel­ery, mush­rooms, to­ma­toes, cu­cum­bers, onion, wal­nuts, etc., and one of the dress­ings that fol­low. 

Dress your salads lightly with the fol­low­ing great tast­ing re­cipes, and you’ll be look­ing great in your sum­mer dress.

RASP­BERRY VINAI­GRETTE DRESS­ING

¼ cup white bal­sam­ic vin­eg­ar

2 cloves gar­lic, minced

1 tsp. rasp­berry pre­serves 

1½ tsp. brown sug­ar   

1 Tb­sp. vanilla (low-fat) yogurt 

½ tsp. salt

¾ cup olive or can­ola oil 

Fresh ground pep­per

Parmes­an cheese shav­ings (op­tion­al)

- In a small bowl or in a bottle: Mix or shake to­geth­er thor­oughly the vin­eg­ar, gar­lic, pre­serves, brown sug­ar, yogurt and salt.

- Add oil in a slow, steady drizzle and whisk un­til blen­ded.

- If us­ing a bottle, add oil in three sep­ar­ate pours and shake 

- bottle very well after each ad­di­tion.

- Add salt and pep­per to taste.

- Re­fri­ger­ate.

- Pour dress­ing over your fa­vor­ite salad and toss. Gar­nish with parmes­an.

Fate and ge­net­ics aside, many thin people are thin be­cause they eat low-cal­or­ie foods. My broth­er, John, was no ex­cep­tion. Be­sides in­her­it­ing most of the fam­ily’s skinny cells, his fa­vor­ite salad dress­ing was the fol­low­ing low-cal spe­cial.

UNCLE JOHN’S SKINNY DRESS­ING

2 cups to­mato or ve­get­able juice

¾ cup olive or can­ola oil

Juice of 1 lem­on

2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. dry mus­tard

2 Tb­sp. minced onion

2 tsp. bottled steak sauce

Pep­per to taste

- Com­bine in­gredi­ents. Beat with whisk un­til well-blen­ded, or put all in­gredi­ents in­to a jar and shake vig­or­ously.

- Re­fri­ger­ate.   

A few sum­mers ago, we ate at a res­taur­ant that served a great sweet-and-sour house dress­ing. Un­for­tu­nately, the re­cipe was the cook’s secret. For­tu­nately, I was blessed with dis­crim­in­at­ing taste buds, and the fol­low­ing du­plic­ated re­cipe is now my “house” dress­ing.

HONEY MUS­TARD DRESS­ING

¾ cup oil

¼ cup apple cider vin­eg­ar

¼ cup honey

1 Tb­sp. Di­jon mus­tard

¼ cup wa­ter

1 clove gar­lic, minced

½ tsp. basil

½ tsp. chives

½ tsp. pars­ley

- Com­bine all in­gredi­ents well us­ing a blender, food pro­cessor or jar. 

- Re­fri­ger­ate.

The fol­low­ing blue cheese dress­ing is great on salads and also makes good com­pany for chick­en wings and buf­falo chick­en dishes. 

BLUE CHEESE DRESS­ING

1½ cups low-fat may­on­naise

1 cup low-fat sour cream

¼ cup apple cider vin­eg­ar

1 Tb­sp. sug­ar

1 clove gar­lic, minced

4 oz. blue cheese, broken in­to pieces

- Com­bine may­on­naise, sour cream, vin­eg­ar, sug­ar and gar­lic and mix well.

- Gently but thor­oughly, stir in blue cheese to blend.

- Re­fri­ger­ate.

This is my re­cipe for Caesar Salad Dress­ing. Make this dress­ing right in the serving bowl, then add the ro­maine lettuce. Don’t for­get to chill the plates.

CAESAR SALAD DRESS­ING

½ tsp. pep­per

2 cloves gar­lic, very finely mashed 

1 Tb­sp. an­chovy fil­lets, pat dry, finely minced or use 

½ tsp. an­chovy paste 

3 Tb­sp. fresh lem­on juice 

1 Tb­sp. red wine vin­eg­ar

1 Tb­sp. Di­jon mus­tard

1 tsp. Worcester­shire sauce

½ cup olive oil

Fresh ground pep­per

2 or 3 heads of ro­maine lettuce, chopped

Parmes­an cheese shav­ings

Croutons   

- Rub a piece of gar­lic all over the in­side of a large salad bowl.

- In­to this large salad bowl, grind the pep­per, add the gar­lic and mash in­to a paste. Add an­chovy and stir and mash in­gredi­ents fine.  

- Add lem­on juice, vin­eg­ar, mus­tard and Worcester­shire sauce and mix well.

- Slowly pour in olive oil, and us­ing a wire whisk, stir and whip to thick­en.

- Add chopped ro­maine leaves. Toss salad well.  

- Grind pep­per over salad.  

- Serve with Parmes­an cheese and croutons.

Eat well, live long, en­joy!

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