– 2 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar
– 6 tablespoons olive oil (If you use extra virgin oil, I recommend a milder oil. The flavor will come through without overpowering the dressing)
– 1 garlic clove, peeled ½ teaspoon fresh minced thyme, or thyme and marjoram mixed
– 1 pinch of salt and 1 big pinch of fresh ground black pepper
Rub the bottom of a large non-reactive bowl with the garlic clove. Rub very vigorously, to the point of breaking down the clove. You want to see the oils from the garlic on the inside of the bowl. Allow a minute for the oil to dry in the bowl. This allows the flavor of garlic to infuse the dressing without making the dressing “hot” or leaving little spicy surprises in the dressing to imbalance the flavors. Add the vinegar, herbs, salt, and pepper. Allow a few minutes for the flavors to marry.
Place the bowl in a dishtowel twisted into a ring to hold it in place, and begin to drizzle the oil in a thin stream into the edge of the vinegar pool, whisking vigorously to emulsify the oil. Do this until the oil is all incorporated. If the dressing still seems “thin”, add a little more oil to achieve a thick “creamy” consistency. Use as needed. Store in the refrigerator, but be sure to pull it out 10-15 minutes before you want to use it.
Basic Salad Dressing
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar or Balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1 teaspoon or so of pressed garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste
Bitter (Spicy) Greens with Mustard Vinaigrette
- 2 Tbsp. finely minced shallot (or try a fresh onion)
- 1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- ½ tsp. grated garlic
- 1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Spicy Greens torn into large pieces
Whisk first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly; whisk until well emulsified and blended. Season vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper. Toss with greens.
makes about 1 ½ cups (Six Seasons; 2017) The many ways to use this dressing is endless as noted below by the cookbook author. It is delicious when tossed with salads of Spring Hill lettuce, radishes and scallions plus any fresh herbs of your choice. Equally good tossed with roasted beets and fresh herbs. Author’s note: ”This dressing is delicious cold or you can gently warm it. Use it with leaf salads, root vegetables, celery, broccoli (the entire brassica family), asparagus, snap peas, fennel, seafood, grain based salads……..”
1 ½ Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. Champagne or white wine vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1. Using a rasp-style grater, zest all the citrus in a bowl. Halve all the fruit and squeeze all the juice into the same bowl to get 2/3 cup juice (fish out the seeds). Whisk in the honey, vinegar, 1 tsp. salt, and several twists of pepper.
2. Taste and adjust with more honey, vinegar, or salt and pepper, if needed, to make the flavor vibrant. Slowly whisk in the olive oil or put the juice mixture into a blender or food processor and drizzle in the oil while the machine is running; the machine method will make the vinaigrette creamier and emulsified.
3. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Italian Tossed Salad
serves 6 (Café Metro Cookbook by Susan Bishop & Laura Tiffany) Spring Hill member Karen Shilling shares this recipe; it’s a delicious salad recipe for fennel!
- 1 cup fennel bulbs, julienned
- ¼ cup walnuts
- 1 egg, hard-boiled, grated
- ¾ head romaine lettuce, cleaned & chopped
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
- ¾ cup croutons
- 1 ½ Tbsp. capers, rinsed & drained
- ½ tsp. garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 ¼ tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
- Salt & Pepper
- 4 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, plucked & chopped
- 3 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
- 4 Tbsp. olive oil
1. Remove the fronds & core from the fennel bulb. Finely julienne the bulb & set aside.
2. Chop the nuts coarsely. Place in a heavy skillet over medium heat and, stirring frequently, cook until the nuts are fragrant and beginning to brown. Remove from the heat & cool completely.
3. Hard-boil the egg. Then grate the egg, using the coarse side of a grater. Set aside.
4. For the dressing: in a blender, combine the garlic, lemon juice, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, & fresh herbs. Slowly whisk in the oil & blend thoroughly.
5. To assemble the salad, toss the lettuce with half the dressing in a serving bowl. Over the lettuce, arrange the fennel, capers, and half the walnuts, drizzle on the remaining dressing and then add the eggs, Parmesan, croutons, and remaining walnuts. Serve.
Little Gems with Lemon Cream, Spring Onion, Radish and Mint
serves 4 (Six Seasons; 2017) There is a little prep work involved in this salad but it is delicious with tender, spring vegetables.
1-2 spring lettuce heads; cores cut out and heads washed, cut into bite size pieces and well dried in a salad spinner
1 small bunch scallions, very thinly sliced, (including ½ inch off the green tops), soaked in ice water for 20 minutes, and drained well.
About ½ bunch radishes, scrubbed, tops trimmed off, thinly sliced, soaked in ice water for 20 minutes, and well drained
1 small handful fresh mint
½ cup Lemon Cream (recipe follows)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Lemon Cream – makes ¾ cup:
Author’s Notes, “This is a light, almost feminine dressing that is beautiful on a simple spring lettuce salad, but also on other green vegetables. Try tossing it with thinly sliced cucumbers.”
4 garlic cloves smashed and peeled
½ cup heavy cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp. grated lemon zest
about 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1. Put the garlic and cream in a medium bowl and let infuse for 2 hours in the refrigerator, so the cream takes on a gentle garlic flavor.
2. Fish out the garlic cloves from the cream, season generously with salt and lots of twists of pepper, and then add the lemon zest. Begin whisking the cream. Once it starts to thicken (about 7-10 minutes of whisking) add 2 tbsp. lemon juice and the olive oil. Keep whisking until it is light and airy. It won’t be thick like fully whipped cream, but it will have a nice creamy texture. Taste and adjust with more salt, pepper or lemon juice. Use this dressing within a day.
• ¼ cup oil of choice
• 2 Tbsp. tarragon vinegar
• 2 Tbsp. white sugar
• ½ tsp. salt
• ¼ tsp. Tabasco sauce
• Fresh ground pepper to taste.
Whisk all ingredients until well combined or shake in a container with a tight fitting lid. Keep in the fridge for up to 1