Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dressing 1

So I’ve been challenged by Feral to make 10 salad dressings in 10 weeks. It’s a bit daunting. I don’t like making salad dressing, this is mostly a result of laziness. You’ve finished making dinner, put together a nice side salad and then you have to whip up a salad dressing? Sigh. Some people, like my cousin Cath, can knock together a delicious salad dressing in their sleep. I can’t. It stresses me out. I make it, taste it, it never tastes quite right, does it need more oil? I add more, taste again, D’oh! that was too much! I add some vinegar, I taste it again, now it’s too sour, so I add some honey, this goes on and on, an endless circle of taste, adjust, taste adjust.

For my first dressing I decided to use a Jamie Oliver recipe. Feral thinks my family is obsessed with Jamie Oliver; she’s convinced it’s some sort of weird family quirk, but it’s not, he’s just big in Britain and has been for about 10 years now. His cookbooks are household staples. One of the reasons Feral thinks we’re obsessed with Jamie is that his Party Cake from The Return of The Naked Chef has become my family’s go-to cake for celebrating birthdays. This cake regularly shows up at our birthdays in Canada, France, Scotland, and NYC, here’s a SMALL sampling:

It’s a good cake. Anyway, back to salad.

Thai dressing from Jamie Oliver’s, The Return of The Naked Chef

4 TBSP fresh lime juice

3 TBSP olive oil

1 TBSP toasted sesame oil

a pinch of sugar

2 inch piece of peeled ginger grated with microplane

1 garlic clove grated with microplane

half a small red chili deseeded and finely chopped

a large handful of chopped fresh herbs: cilantro, basil and mint

Put everything in a jar and shake, shake, shake.

It tasted a little sour right out of the jar so I added a bit more sugar. It still tasted tart to me but I trusted the recipe and dressed my salad. I’m glad I did, it was tasty. The salad I used it on:

Lettuce, arugula, tomatoes, asparagus, yellow pepper, carrots, mango, some of the fresh herbs from the dressing, and warm fake beef strips. Topped with a few salted peanuts this was a great dinner salad. I’ll be making this again.


  1. 10 salad dressings in 10 weeks! Sounds like it could be a sequel to Julie and Julia.

  2. You have caused me to think of a new way to taste salad dressing. Whenever I taste it, it's too tart and then it's fine on the salad. Next time I'll try dipping a little lettuce in it and tasting it that way. hmmm....

  3. Funny you mention the cake: Ella turns 9 today and we celebrated over the weekend. She insisted on a vanilla sponge, saying that she's sick of the Jamie cake. Kids nowadays...