Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Salads Part One

Horseradish Dijon Vinaigrette
Spring has sprung and I am busily tending to our little garden in the city.  My thoughts are filled with visions of sprouting fresh greens, arugula and vine ripened tomatoes. Now anyone who knows me knows that I am a total carnivore and live by the BBQ even when the weather gets close to the freezing mark…I’ll save that for another story. With all this meat and BBQ goodness I still need - and yes even crave - a great salad.

Today I am going to share one of my new favourite vinaigrettes. I got my inspiration from Chef Lynn Crawford and her restaurant Ruby Watch Co.  It was during a recent birthday celebration that I was served a very lovely, yet simple, salad with panko crusted goat cheese fritters. The fritters were excellent, but it was the vinaigrette that stole the show for me. Chef Lynn created a very simple vinaigrette that had horseradish as an ingredient, which I thought was exquisite.  Below is my own rendition of this very tasty dressing.

What you will need:
1 cup (250mL) - Olive oil or a good light flavoured salad oil (i.e. sunflower seed)
⅓ cup (75mL) - White wine vinegar or Apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp (15mL) - Freshly grated horseradish or prepared (hot or mild your choice)
1 tbsp (15mL) - Dijon mustard
1 tsp (15mL) - Honey
1 tsp (5mL) - Worchester sauce
1 clove - Garlic (grated or minced very fine)
2–3 sprigs - Fresh thyme
½ - Lemon, juice (use the zest if you like more bite)
To taste - Sea salt and cracked black pepper

1.       Combine horseradish, honey, garlic, Dijon, Worchester and lemon juice (zest) into a bowl and gently mix with a wire whisk.
2.       Add vinegar keeping in mind that for the desired amount of dressing, the ratio should be 1 part vinegar and flavouring ingredients to 3 parts oil.
3.       Once evenly combined, slowly add oil to the bowl. Whisk oil gently and then more vigorously once all the ingredients have been added.
4.       Once dressing is thoroughly mixed – taste and adjust to your liking.
5.       Add thyme (stems removed) and then mix, taste and adjust again.
6.       Enjoy with your favourite salad greens or anything else you can use a vinaigrette for – i.e. a marinade for chicken.  The vinaigrette will last a couple of days refrigerated. (Note: If using olive oil, give the dressing a good shake when you take it out of the refrigerator as olive oil tends to clump when cold).

I hope that you will enjoy my twist on a traditional vinaigrette. Wishing you a great summer and happy salads!  Until next time…

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