Cook's Corner: How to dress a salad

Published 5:53 am Wednesday, February 27, 2008

By Staff
Salad season is fast approaching even though we are still having some cool temperatures. It really doesn't matter what the temperatures are, a salad can be good during any season. The only thing is usually tomatoes are better in the spring and summer months.
I'm living up to my end of the bargain this week by putting in some recipes for salad dressings. I like creamy dressings sometimes, but my favorite kind of dressing is made with vinegar and oil. A lot depends on what kind of greens are involved in the salad.
At any rate, I've dug out a few recipes for some dressings, creamy and vinaigrette, that I've tried a couple of times at home. I hope that you find one that you can try and enjoy.
The first recipe I'll share with you is one that I begged for on my last trip to Disney World. My family and I went to the Luau at the Polynesian Resort to watch the show and have dinner. While Landon and Larry were being fascinated by men twirling burning bamboo reeds and hula girls shaking their grass skirts, I was busy trying to figure out how to get the recipe for the salad dressing.
At the end of the meal when the waitress asked if everything was good, I bragged on the salad and told her how much I enjoyed the dressing. When she returned to our table to clear away the dishes, she handed me a card that had the salad dressing recipe printed on it. I was so excited and was looking forward to getting home to try the recipe myself.
I gave it a try and it turned out almost as good as what I had at the restaurant. I will tell you the recipe makes about four cups of dressing. I cut the recipe in half, but if you make the full recipe and want to share with me, you know where I'm at.
Mango Poppyseed Vinaigrette
1 tbsp. corn syrup
1/2 tsp. onion powder
2 tbsp. molasses
2 cups Canola oil
4 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 Mango pureed
1 tbsp. poppyseeds
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 pinch salt
1 tsp. garlic, chopped
White pepper to taste.
Wash and peel mango. Dice into cubes and puree in food processor. Continue blending and add the rest of the ingredients (except for the poppy seeds), blend until creamy consistency. Pour in canola oil slowly until completely emulsified; add poppy seeds at the very end. Adjust seasoning to taste and keep refrigerated. A good accompaniment for all types of mixed greens or fruit and vegetable relish.
The mango dressing turns a little creamy when you put it all together in the blender. So it is somewhere between a cream and a vinaigrette dressing.
If you want a little more creamy in your salad dressing, this next recipe may be something you would enjoy.
Midwest Salad Dressing
3 cups mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, whisk mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, sugar, honey, Worcestershire sauce, pepper and salt together until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
And, finally, this is an at-home version of Thousand Island dressing. I never really knew that boiled eggs went into the dressing before getting this recipe. It's fairly easy to prepare. Not as good as bottled to me, but it is pretty tasty.
Thousand Island Dressing
1 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/4 cup chili sauce
2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
2 tablespoons chopped celery
4 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a bowl, combine all ingredients; mix well. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Serve over salad greens.
I hope that you'll try one or two of these recipes. I'm sure you'll find something that you enjoy.
Next week, I plan to share some other salad recipes that you may enjoy as well. The recipes next week won't be for green salads but for salads that can be served as a side dish with a variety of main courses.
If you have a salad recipe that you'd like to share, I'd love to hear from you. As a matter of fact, any recipe you'd like to share would be welcome. You can give me a call at 867-4876 or drop me a line by email at lisa.tindell@brewtonstandard.com.
Until next week, Happy Cooking!