Fresh magazine - Blog
Vinaigrette and salads
Preparing a tasty salad might look like science sometimes. In fact you need nothing more than to mix a few ingredients. And you don´t even need a recipe. Discover the magic of vinaigratte…
Vinaigrette is a salad dressing and it is a simple base from which you can create countless taste combinations. All you need is just to remember the basic ratio of oil and vinegar 3:1. Whisk the mixture with a fork, blender or shake it in the jar.
Always prepare the emulsion in a special bowl and then gently stir into the lettuce. If you pourred all the ingredients straight to the salad and then mixed it together, you´d never have achieved such a good tasty result.
Oil – start with olive, which has less distinctive flavor. Then try other oils such as sesame, avocado, nut oils… You can combine different oils. For example, pumpkin seed oil is very distinctive, so use only smaller amount and complete the rest of the oil part with a high-quality, low-flavor oil.
Vinegar – wine vinegar or lemon juice is a great choice as the basis for other more significant ingredients. Or add only salt and pepper and enjoy a pleasant dressing, which doesn´t overcome the taste of vegetables. You will be surprised how good this simple dressing is. Try also balsamic vinegar and vinegar of coconut nectar.
Other ingredients – salt and pepper, lemon or lime instead of vinegar, other spices, finely chopped herbs, various mustards, honey, miso paste, garlic, finely chopped shallot…
Tasting – salad dressings should have stronger taste. If you´re not sure – dip one salad leaf in the dressing and taste. This gives you the best idea of what the resulting flavor will be like.
Use heart of he salad and leaves from it´s surroundings. They are mild, crispy, juicy and sweeter. Large leaves from the edge are stiffer, can be a little bitter. Those are great for veggie rolls with dips.
Wash the leaves and tear them. Some salads, however, call for slicing, such as Chinese cabbage. To keep any dressing on the leaves, we recommend drying the leaves in the salad centrifuge. If the salad is covered with water, the dressings don´t stick to the leaves, water dilutes the dressings and they end up in a “pool” under the salad.
Make different combinations of leaves and other veggies. Keep some temperance in combinations, but don´t be afraid to experiment. Find your own verified flavor combinations. And don´t forget to use some edible flowers and herbal leaves!
You think you don´t like bitter leaves like endives or chicory? Try them with honey or other sweeter dressing. This taste combination really works so well.
Leaves, dressing and that´s it?
If you eat your salad as the main dish, add some protein to it to make it more filling. Roasted nuts of all kind (have you tried pines?), different cheeses, cooked lentils, eggs… You can use meat “waste” cuts or pick meat of bones from the broth.
Enjoy your salads and, if you discover a great flavor dressing combination, share it with the world.