A few months ago we have started having steak on a Friday night. It’s a quick to cook, delicious treat for the end of the week. But last Friday was a disorganised, all over the place kind of a day. Dinner was the result of a hasty search through the fridge and freezer for something that might go with my purple sprouting broccoli which I had randomly bought on a whim.
The result? On the right. A hearty kind-of-Spring salad with purple sprouting broccoli, broccoli, white beans, French beans and lettuce. Healthy, bordering on slightly dull. But made wonderful with this superb basic dressing from Nourishing Traditions.
Honestly, I never really bother with salad dressings from cookbooks and tend just to use oil and balsamic vinegar. However, this really was much better than what I usually come up with, and so quick and easy, that it may well become my go to dressing recipe.
Benefits of home made salad dressing (if you like to know this kind of thing!):
- It makes salad tastier than no dressing at all, therefore you are probably more likely to eat it!
- Bottled dressings, particularly low fat versions, tend to have a not so lovely mix of stabilisers, preservatives, artificial flavours, colours and MSG
- Cold-pressed olive oil is a traditional, ‘good fat’ containing antioxidants and vitamin E. It is a stable monounsaturated fatty acid, and it is linked with protection from heart disease
- Flax/ linseed oil is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids – but keep it in the fridge and don’t overdose!
- Finally, this is really quick to make and really delicious.
Basic Dressing (Nourishing Traditions page 129)
- 1 teaspoon Dijon-type mustard, smooth or grainy
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon raw wine vinegar (I used Aspall organic white wine vinegar)
- 1/2 cup or 4 fluid oz. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon expeller-expressed flax oil (I have just placed an online order for linseed oil, this is something I haven’t used before)
Dip a fork into the jar of mustard and transfer about 1 teaspoon to a small bowl.
Add vinegar and mix around.
Add olive oil in a thin stream, stirring all the while with the fork, until oil is well mixed. Add linseed oil et….voila!
This is so easy and so delicious. Give it a go!
For those who have kids, this is what the kids ate: a deconstructed salad without the salad bits and without the dressing but with a piece of chicken. They were happy. My kids will not go near a lettuce leaf or salad dressing.