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!
If you’re a home cook you need a good meat sauce recipe up your sleeve. This is one of mine. Its secret is that I don’t brown the meat. That way it doesn’t toughen and need hours of braising to tenderize again. I also use a food processor to save a lot of knife work. Quick, easy and tasty!
Chimichurri is a spicy, vinegar-spiked, pesto-like condiment from Argentina where it’s used both as a sauce and a marinade for meat. Its bright flavours reflect the combination of Spanish and Italian influences in Argentina. It’s one of the world’s great condiments and a great way to add a touch of authentic flair to any grilled meat or fish. You may serve or use as a marinade immediately, but this condiment is at its best after a day or two of refrigeration.