Fans of thick and creamy salad dressing will love this. I originally found this recipe on Oprah Winfrey’s personal chef’s website at the time of her TV show. I still love it and make it often, varying the fresh herbs to suit the meal. The vinegary capers, shallots and herbs give so much flavour that all it needs is some delicious, fresh greens like our Lepp Farms lettuce to create a tasty salad.
2 tablespoons grainy mustard or Smak Dab White Wine and Herb Mustard
2 tablespoons White Wine or Apple Cider Vinegar
2 tablespoons rinsed capers, chopped
2 tablespoons finely minced shallot
1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs, such as oregano, basil or dill, or a combination of your favorite herbs
Salt and hot red pepper sauce, to taste
Place all the ingredients except olive oil in a bowl and mix well. Whisking continuously, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream to incorporate it. Store dressing in a jar in the refrigerator and give it a good shake to blend. If it seems too thick, add some additional buttermilk to adjust to your liking. The dressing can be prepared up to 1 week ahead, covered, and refrigerated.
Years ago there was a restaurant on Cambie Street in Vancouver called Tomato Fresh Food Cafe, credited with being one of the first establishments to emphasize fresh, local food. One day while exploring “the big city” with our family, we wandered in and enjoyed a delicious, fresh-tasting meal. We all fell in love with their house salad, basically a simple one with dressed greens, and we wondered what exotic ingredients made up its unique flavour. Remember, this was in the days before things like authentic balsamic vinegar were mainstream, at least with our Abbotsford family. I immediately purchased their cookbook upon publication, and I was surprised to see how simple it was to make, and I credit this recipe with giving me the courage to start making my own salad dressings. I’ve played around with the quantities, as 5 tablespoons seemed like an odd measurement, however I’ve learnt to trust the recipe, as it’s perfect. One note is that if you’re using our much-beloved Antica Acetaia Dodi balsamic vinegars, especially the more well-aged ones, it’s best to start with 3-4 tablespoons as they are a very rich vinegar and can overpower the other flavours.
When I first shared this recipe with friends, I had to emphasize that the olive oil absolutely must be extra virgin, and the maple syrup must be “pure”, NOT maple flavoured pancake syrup! I’m happy to report that I no longer have to stress that, as we all now have more discerning palates and enjoy using quality ingredients.
Add all ingredients into a bowl except olive oil, and mix well. Whisking continuously, slowly add olive oil in a steady stream to incorporate all ingredients.
Dorie Greenspan, James Beard award-winning cookbook author, recently wrote her 13th book, Everyday Dorie. Usually, a cookbook with a name like this includes the most accessible recipes for home cooks as they are the favorite dishes for the chef to cook at home. This recipe appealed to me as I love the simplicity. Without any added oil, this is a healthy and delicious dressing. Pile your favorite toppings such as cooked chickpeas, chopped sweet pepper, red onion, diced cucumber, avocado, seafood etc., on a bed of fresh Lepp Farms greens and finish with a drizzle of this tasty dressing. The options are endless, and dinner is done!
¼ lukewarm water (or if you cook your own chickpeas from dried, you can save 1/4 cup of the cooking broth and use that in place of the water)
1 garlic clove, grated or minced
1 ½ tsp. grated, peeled fresh ginger
1 ½ tsp. cumin
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp.cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. honey (optional)
Put the tahini in a large bowl, pour in water or cooking broth and whisk until the tahini is smooth. Grate the zest of 1 lemon over tahini, then squeeze over and whisk in the juice of both lemons. Whisk in remaining ingredients, and taste to see if you’d like to adjust seasonings.
Jam Jar Vinaigrette
You know the pesky little bit of jam languishing in a jar in the back of your fridge? Don’t toss it out, but instead add a few ingredients, shake it vigorously, and you’ve got a delicious, fresh salad dressing. Try making it with this recipe for Orange Jalapeno Jelly.
1 rounded tablespoon, or a little more, of the jam or jelly left in the bottom of the jar
To the jar, add:
2 tsp. Dijon mustard, or your favourite Smak Dab mustard
2 tbsp. White wine or apple cider vinegar, or juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Optional add ins: finely chopped shallot, minced garlic clove, freshly grated ginger (would be exceptional in a citrus jam), a spoonful of chopped fresh herbs
To the jar, add all ingredients and shake vigorously.
Creamy Maple Mustard
Super simple, and as delicious on grilled veggies like Brussels sprouts as it is on a salad, there’s no excuse not to have a homemade salad dressing in the fridge for a healthier take on store-bought dressings. Kids will love the subtle sweetness imparted by the maple syrup.