I used to hate salad. My mom would tell me stories of the leaf lettuces she grew when I was very young. But after we moved, the neighbor’s tree shaded the yard so much that she had to give up on gardening. After that, it was just grocery store vegetables, and back then that meant iceberg lettuce.
I wasn’t a fan of iceberg lettuce. My mom dressed her salad up with canned pickled beets and three bean salad, both of which I hated, so I hated salad.
I have since come to love a good salad. Heirloom lettuce, I don’t care what kind, homemade dressing and an assortment of toppings. Salmon or shrimp with dried fruit and candied nuts or a beef taco salad with homemade salsa are two of my favorites.
There is one recipe that I get the most requests for, my salad dressing. It doesn’t matter which one, it’s always a favorite. And it’s really easy and really only one recipe with a lot of variations. It takes less than 5 minutes to make, so there’s really no reason to buy expensive dressings or those full of bad oils and bad ingredients.
You can use a whisk or for to blend the dressing, but those dressings are more prone to separate later on. The oil just doesn’t emulsify as well. I love my mini-food processor for this. It costs about $25, and is well worth it for dressings as well as chopping small stuff and grinding spices.
Honey Mustard Viniagrette
- 1 T. Mustard
- 1 1/2 to 2 T. honey
- 1 T. cider vinegar
- splash of water
- pinch of salt
- olive oil
Put the mustard, honey, vinegar, salt and water in the food processor and blend until mixed. You might have to scrape the honey off the bottome to incorporate it. Turn on the processor and fill the top drip tray with olive oil. You will probably needed to fill it two to three times. It will start to get thicker. Stop and taste it from time to time to see if it’s to your liking. The harsh flavor of the vinegar will mellow as you get more oil mixed in. Adjust with honey and salt if needed.
Mustard is one of the best ingredients to aid in emulsifying the dressing. If you want a thick dressing, add some more mustard.
The variations are endless. I routinely make a balsamic vinaigrette with less mustard, balsamic vinegar instead of cider, and using more vinegar. To make it creamy, add a little yogurt or sour cream. Sometimes I use a fruit jam instead of the honey for a strawberry, cherry or raspberry viaigrette. Just try things. I find most are good, and rarely ever do I throw out a dressing.