During this most recent bout of super-warm weather I’ve been trying to come up with meals that are cool and refreshing to eat, and don’t require the generation of more heat in my kitchen. The end result has been a variety of salad plates that incorporate greens, raw or cooked vegetables, hard-cooked eggs, bits of cooked meats like ham, chicken, or steak and cheeses. More and more often I’m including fruit in my salad plates, and also in my side salads.
The dressing you use on a salad should compliment each of the ingredients, and turn the various parts into a cohesive whole. When fruit is part of the mix, I think the dressing should be a little on the sweet side. I’m not quoting any rules here, that’s just my opinion! So I came up with a salad dressing that I feel is complimentary to any salad that has fruit in it. What started out as a regular oil and vinegar salad dressing, became one that contains a little sugar and a tiny amount of Almond extract. That subtle flavor of almond makes all the difference. Here’s how to make it:
ALMOND VINAIGRETTE DRESSING
- 1/4 cup salad oil
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 2 Tablespoons MALT vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
In a screw-top jar combine oil, sugar, vinegar, salt, and almond extract. Cover and shake well to dissolve the sugar and salt. Chill.
Some of the salad combinations I have used it on include:
1. Mixed greens with red grapes, sliced pears, celery, crumbled feta cheese and walnuts
2. Mixed greens with roasted golden beets, mango, and green onions.
3. Mixed greens with thinly sliced fennel, orange sections and pistachios.
4. Romaine lettuce, roast red beets, orange sections and walnuts.