It is kind of critical in these rare, balmy moments to get that dressing right and that doesn’t just apply to the salad. Hence, in this blissful wave of heat I thought it time to share two that we adore and consume a lot of at home. That said, I am very open-minded to the simple approach of a good splash of olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, it does work wonders. The difference in the 2 dressings noted here is that they don’t just elevate a salad, they transform it. The dressing in the photo above is a classic Dijon and honey but with the surprise ingredient of yogurt, the second one is my larder staple for Asian food -a ‘Nam Jim’ dressing but made in a kitchen friendly style! Being a larder bore the beauty of both of these is that once they’re in your repertoire you won’t look back- they are easy, foolproof and seriously good.
French Dijon Dressing
3 tablespoons of good olive oil
1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of natural yoghurt
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon of runny honey
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Whisk the mustard and honey together until combined and then very slowly whisk in all the olive oil – it will become very thick and almost mayonnaise like – don’t fret though as the addition of vinegar will loosen the dressing – then add the yogurt and whisk again, followed by a pinch of salt and grind of pepper. If the dressing is too thick loosen it off with either a little cold water whisked in slowly or a little lemon juice. Serve over salad immediately. This dressing will split if left – just whisk again and it will come back together.
This marries beautifully with any of the following combinations:
Beetroot, fresh goats cheese, toasted hazelnut, watercress and rocket
Asparagus, fine bean, baby leek and soft boiled quail egg
Julienned fennel, pear, chicory, walnut and gorgonzola
Thai Nam Jim Dressing
2 red chillies
1 small bunch of coriander
Juice of 2 limes
2 tablespoons of Thai fish sauce
2 tablespoons of palm sugar or golden caster sugar
2 garlic cloves peeled and chopped roughly
Pinch of salt
Chop the red chillies keeping the seeds in and add to a container which you will be able to hand blend the rest of the dressing ingredients in. Add the garlic, coriander (roughly chopped) lime juice and Thai fish sauce – whizz with a hand blender, add in the palm sugar and pinch of salt, stir very well so the sugar dissolves.
‘Nam Jim’ hits all the right notes of hot, sour and sweet, perfect with any of the salads below.
Fresh white crab meat and bitter leaves
Shredded chicken, mango, avocado, spring onion with chopped green pistachios
Julienned cucumber, spring onion, papaya, fresh prawns