January 17, 2014

This Salad Dressing Will Make You Want to Eat Salad


Salad dressing is a funny thing. I find most restaurant salad dressings to be yummy, but most bottled salad dressings to be yuck. (Especially ranch…I don't know what they do to bottled ranch dressing, but it's terrible and they need to stop.) Consequently, I typically don't enjoy an at-home salad nearly as much as I do a restaurant salad (which I have been known to swoon over).

That was, until I started making my own salad dressing. For some reason, I was sort of afraid to make my own dressing for a long time. I remember staying with my cousins in Chicago many years ago when I was doing an internship in the city, and my cousin, Nancy, would always make her own dressing for our salads. I would watch in amazement as she, without measuring anything, seemingly randomly put various ingredients into a bowl and whisked them up, and moments later I would have a deliciously dressed salad in front of me. But it all seemed a bit wizard-behind-the-curtain to my 21 year old self. I loved it, but was afraid to try it myself.

Fast forward many, many, many years (years of eating less-than-stellar bottled salad dressing), I finally plunged into the world of homemade salad dressing. And oh what a plunge it has been! Seriously, if you eat salads at home, like, ever, you need to make your own dressing. It. Makes. All. The. Difference. In. The. World. Seriously.

And if you're going to take the plunge, like I did, I have a fantastic recipe for you to try. This one is a hand-me-down from my grandmother (the wonderful Portia Hoffman, who I miss so very much) to my mother (the amazing Jan Scherzinger, chef-extraordinaire, who taught my brother and me to be cooks and made some adaptations to this recipe from my grandmother's original) to me. And now I'm sharing it with you. Because I love you. And I want you to love your salad. So you'll eat your veggies. And live a long an healthy life. :-)

Now, this recipe is not low fat or low sugar. But it is amazingly delicious. So just use a little to dress your salad if you're watching fat or sugar. And most definitely make this when you're serving a salad for company. It is totally company worthy. I made it for our Christmas dinner salad of mixed greens with goat cheese, pear, dried cherries and candied pecans. OMG. So. Good. Then used leftovers for salads of mixed greens with orange wedges and goat cheese and pecans. As far as I'm concerned, this dressing goes with anything. And you will want to lick the bowl after your salad is gone.

So here it is, my favorite salad dressing, like, ever…

Mom's Honey Orange Dressing
3/4 c. honey
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. cider vinegar
2 tbsp orange juice
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp grated orange rind
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp Dijon mustard



My favorite way to make dressing it simply put all of the ingredients into a Ball canning jar, put the lid securely on, and shake vigorously, until well combined. You can also put it all in a bowl and whisk, until well combined. This recipe will make a lot of dressing (1 1/2 cups) and will keep in the fridge for a while…I'm not absolutely sure how long it will keep because we always finish it all long before it has a chance to go bad.

And it's that simple. Takes about five minutes to make. And it's totally worth it. It's probably even mostly ingredients you have on hand. I mean, you may have to buy an orange if you don't keep them on hand. Otherwise, it's pantry staples.

So, thanks Mom.

And, until next time, happy cooking!

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