Salad Dressing by Chef MJ Adams
Greens for a salad for 4
• 2 cups of Bibb lettuce leaves washed and dried, torn in half
• 2 cups of red leaf lettuce washed and dried, torn in half
small Belgian Endive, cut the leaves from the stem and tossed into the bib lettuce (optional)
• 2 cups of Raddichio leaves washed and dried, torn in half
• 1/4 cup of picked parsley
• 1/4 cup of picked dill
• 1/8 cup of minced shallots (optional) (chop yourself from a fresh bulb)
Notes: Your choice of greens can be anything. There is a large variety of lettuces these days that can be found at your farmers market or local grocers. I personally love arugula but some people find it too spicy.
I fill my sink with cold water and take the lettuce and let it soak for about 5 seconds giving it a gentle wash in the sink and than I gently lift out and put in a salad spinner to dry the lettuce. Don’t overcrowd. Make sure you spin the greens thoroughly. (Untill no water comes from the greens.) You don’t want a watery salad which results from water still left on the lettuce. The rule of thumb is 2 cups of greens per serving.
Basic Dressing for a mixed green salad for 4
1/4 cup of Champagne Vinegar (or Red wine or Sherry or even lemon juice…your preference)
3/4 cup of Hazelnut oil ( or extra virgin olive oil)
pinch of salt
1 T of Dijon Mustard
• In a bowl, mix the mustard, salt and vinegar. Give it a stir with a whisk.
• Slowly start drizzling in the oil, whisking the entire time. You want an emulsion to start
to begin and you can than pour the oil in a little faster, still whisking the entire time.
• You could also do in a small jar with a lid. Add all the ingredients and shake well.
Notes: The rule for dressing is always 3 to 1. 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar.
I like to start with pouring part of the dressing on the greens and tossing well. I go from here to see if more dressing is needed. You don’t want a big pool of dressing in the bottom of the bowl.
You want enough dressing to coat all of the greens well. Taste for seasoning. Add a pinch of salt and crack some pepper over the greens tossing again. Sometimes I like to add a squeeze of lemon to bring out the flavors.
I love a good tossed salad. Now days I get a sad little plastic ramekin attached to my greens that is usually so thick, I couldn’t even toss my greens with it. I would suggest that the restaurants maybe thin out their dressing with water and place the dressing in a small cream pitcher so I could pour it over my salad.
There are so many vinegars to choose from as well as oils. I like to date the specialty oils. They should be kept in a dark place. I also use them to drizzle over cooked vegetables for something different. Vegetables such as asparagus or zucchini. These are a few that I have in my home. You can also easily make your own herb vinegars which are fun to do in late summer with the left-over herbs from your garden.