Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Garden Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

As an ambassador for the ongoing Food Revolution, each month we are given challenges to engage our family, friends, communities and influences with a recipe to foster deeper connections with fresh food. For June, we have this simple sensational tasting salad! You can start just about any meal with a garden salad or serve it alongside almost anything. Add grilled or boiled shrimp, sliced grilled chicken breast or flank steak to turn a garden salad into a main course.

From the mouth of Jamie Oliver and my sentiments exactly: "I never understand why anyone would want to buy store-bought salad dressings when they’re so easy to make, taste far nicer and aren’t pumped full of preservatives if you make them yourself!" Jamie makes his in a jam jar so that leftovers can be stored easily in the fridge – it will sit quite happily for up to a week so he often makes up double batches to save himself time after a busy day at work.

Garden Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
Makes 4 Servings

For the dressing:
1½ tsp. dry mustard
3 Tbsp. seasoned rice wine vinegar
5 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup buttermilk (or add 1/2 Tbsp. vinegar/lemon juice to 1/2 cup whole milk- let sit five mins.)
1 Tbsp. finely chopped shallot
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill or 1 ½ teaspoons dried dill
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the salad:
1 head Boston or small heart of romaine lettuce
1 large or 2 small carrots
½ cucumber
6 or so radishes
A handful of cherry or grape tomatoes, about 1 cup

Put all the dressing ingredients in a small jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake really well. The dressing makes twice as much as you will need for this salad. The rest can be refrigerated for up to a week.

For the salad, pull off any wilty or bruised outer leaves. Separate the leaves, tear out any thick stems and tear the leaves into bite-size pieces. Wash the leaves and spin them in a salad spinner.

Peel and grate the carrot, cut the cucumber in half lengthwise, then into half-moon slices. Slice the radishes thin and cut the cherry tomatoes in half (or leave them whole if you like). Add all the vegetables to the lettuce. Give the dressing a good shake, pour half of it over the salad and toss.

TIP: Once you've learned to make this salad try adding your other favourite ingredients like a few toasted nuts, some peppery arugula, or some crumbled feta.

Refreshing and Dill-icious!

Have you ever read the ingredients on bottled dressing? I bet you can’t pronounce half of them. By making double the amount of dressing, as the recipe suggests, you can keep the rest in the fridge and it can become your house dressing (and one without a whole bunch of mystery ingredients.) Once you’ve made it, you’ll forget it took any time at all to prepare and you'll easily do it again next time!

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