Nothing is simpler, tastier and healthier than a bowl layered full of happy homemade salad; especially when it’s tossed with a few twists, including your own secret “house dressing.”
Master Dressing Recipe
1 part vinegar
1 part sugar
1 part mustard
2 parts oil
1-2 sprinkles salt and lots of freshly ground pepper
Balsamic Honey Version
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoon olive oil
4 ounces arugula
4 ounces mixed baby greens
4 ounces baby spinach
1 big bunch fresh cilantro leaves and stems
1 big bunch fresh basil leaves
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
2 shredded carrots
Wash and refresh the greens and spin them dry. Toss them into your favourite salad bowl. Toss in the herbs. Make your dressing by shaking it in a mason jar and adjust the volume to suit your needs. Be sure to make enough for leftovers. A jar of homemade dressing in the fridge is like money in the bank for me. Start with the oil, and then add vinegar and honey. Shake it up. Notice the ingredients quickly separate. Add the mustard and shake again. Voila! The mustard binds the dressing together and it will remain thick and creamy from here on.
Now toss your salad with the dressing, making sure not to overdress. Top with almonds for a crunchy finish. Nuts are a fantastic, tasty way to add texture, flavor and protein to any salad. Break out the salad tongs, serve and share.
Chef Michael’s Kitchen
© Chef Michael Smith
Freestyle Twist: Twist your dressing up by experimenting with the sugar, oil, vinegar or mustard. Try brown sugar, white sugar, maple syrup or even raspberry jelly. Use your favorite oil whether it’ sunflower, safflower or vegetable. Mix it up with rice, red wine, sherry or white wine vinegar or opt for lemon or lime as a sour. Any mustard you can find will do the trick. With a little imagination and your taste buds as your guide the combination possibilities are endless. Make a little or a lot, but make it a dressing you love!
In the Maritimes we don’t worry whether our chowders are authentic or not. We know a true clam chowder is just a bowl full of simple, hearty flavours. We often use canned clams and always stir in onions, potatoes and milk. We’re too busy asking for seconds to worry whether we got it right!
Mussels travel with their own built-in sauce base. They’re easy to steam and, when you do, they release a flavourful broth that many connoisseurs swear is the best part. That broth can be flavoured any way you want, so mussels are also a great ingredient to freestyle with.