recently i've been experimenting with proteins and vinaigrette - and my new favorite salad is cold rosemary roasted chicken salad with an orange zest vinaigrette (vinaigrette dressing below). but i've also tried adding shrimp, fish, nuts and beans to a greens salad. for shrimp, i'm still looking for a more flavorful combination. for fish, i recently made toasted sesame salmon which turned out pretty good - i'd like to try marinated tuna as well, but i'm a little nervous about anything raw due to parasites and other nasties.
i probably use nuts (almonds mostly) on nearly every salad i make. i really think chopped almonds make just about everything taste a little better, and when i'm chewing a mouthful of greens, broccoli, radish, and carrot, somehow chopped almonds make me feel less like a rabbit. i actually keep a tupperware container filled with pre-chopped nuts just so i can sprinkle them over salad - especially if on summer nights when i'm not making another major protein.
i've discovered that as long as i have something else on the plate besides salad (e.g. mashed potatoes, risotto, fresh bread, muffins, biscuits etc), i really don't miss having a protein dish. the salad fills me up and the comforting side dish satisfies my need craving for something a little decadent and not-green. this strategy works especially well if i have a dessert lined up to distract my mind from the missing protein - oooooooooo, pie you say?
it's not that i'm giving up meats (i still often eat fish or chicken or bacon over my salad), but by fall i may not care that i cannot cook a steak properly or that i've never roasted a turkey. because i'm sure i can come up with a new salad strategy for fall and winter months - there's got to be a way to make salads as comforting as pot pie, chicken soup, chicken piccata, shepherds pie... maybe i need to add toasted bread cubes or something to distract me from the wad of green on my fork.
or maybe i just need to come up with more dressings like this vinaigrette. i don't mind the taste of most greens as long as the dressing masks the flavor :) And this dressing does a great job because there's plenty of orange zest, a little bite from vinegar and lemon juice, and plenty of heat from the black pepper. it's also easy to make:
Orange Zest Vinaigrette
Prep time: 8 minutes
- In a large measuring cup, combine 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (or 1 lemon) with 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar and 1/4 cup olive oil
- Add zest of 1 orange, 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (more to taste), 1 teaspoon honey and 1+1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- Whisk together until smooth. Check taste for and add more salt, pepper or vinegar to taste. Makes enough for 2 quite large salads or 3 smaller salads; store leftover dressing in the fridge in an airtight container and allow to warm-up for 15 minutes at room temperature before using from fridge
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Zest of 1 orange
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon honey
1+1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard
what kind of vinaigrettes or dressings do you like to make or use? more suggestions would be most welcome...
|Scan to view recipe on your mobile device|