Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Salad Dressing for Thanksgiving

With my husband out of town for Thanksgiving, I'm having just a few friends over for Thanksgiving, and what cooking I can do ahead of time, I'm working on today.

I tend to keep pretty traditional when it comes to Thanksgiving. Later tonight, I'll run to the store and pick up some stuff for a green salad. But I've already made two dressings. (I had two glass bottles from Harris Teeter that had sparkling lemonade in them and I liked them enough to use them for the salad dressings.)

First up is a Raspberry Vinaigrette from Taste of the South magazine. It was originally a blackberry recipe, but I just don't like blackberries. I also have no idea how long I've had this recipe, since it was tucked into a binder here in my kitchen.

  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups raspberries
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
In the container of a blender, combine raspberries and sugar. Pulse until liquefied. Add balsamic vinegar, pulsing until combined. With blender running (or not, depending on the strength of your blender...I turned mine off for this part), slowly add the olive oil. Add salt and pepper, pulsing to combine. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

I tried this already and really liked it. In fact, I made it two days in advance so the flavors of everything would have a chance to really combine together. It does come out a bit thick, so you depending on how you like your vinaigrette, you may want to add less fruit or more vinegar.

On a side note, I thought if raspberry vinaigrette was good, then Dragon Fruit Vinaigrette would be even better. And I just happened to have a dragon fruit here. Turns out, it wasn't such a good choice. The dragon fruit vinaigrette came out thick and slightly gelatinous/slimy. No matter how much mixing I did, I couldn't fully get the balsamic vinegar to completely mix together. Some of it stayed in the bottom of the container.

Next up is Japanese Ginger Dressing, a recipe I just looked for online. The ginger dressing I've bought in the store is never as good as the stuff I've had in any Japanese steakhouse. Time to try my own!

  • 3 tablespoons minced carrots
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 3 tablespoons minced celery
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped lemon with some rind (I left this out, as I don't like lemon)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil (I actually used 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil)
  • 3/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 medium (or 1/2 cup) onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
One quick note of my own that I want to make here: you're probably not going to want to buy an entire bag of carrots and an entire head of celery for this recipe. Go to whatever grocery store near you has a salad bar, and get the veggies there. Chances are, the celery will be cut up and the carrots might already be julienned, which will take a little time out of your prep work. When you get home, throw them out on your cutting board together and start mincing.

Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until emulsified. Stir and shake before each use.

So far, with just trying some of this dressing on a spoon, I feel like I've gotten remarkable closer to the steakhouse-style of ginger dressing than I have with buying it.

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