Friday, October 3, 2008

Impromptu Salad Dressing with Class: Vegan MoFo #3

Today I had lunch at my tita's / aunt's house with my tita's in-laws visiting from Australia. The thing is, this house had an empty fridge. All that was inside the fridge was fruit, jam, some bottled sauces, and butter. We had a lovely salad with sliced apples but no salad dressing. What to do?

I ended up having a go at making the dressing with ingredients that I found around the kitchen. Turned out to be a fortunate accident because I discovered this awesome dressing that wowed the Australians. It's pretty versatile too. The dressing was essentially made up of: an acid, sweetener, salt and pepper, garlic, and oil.

Depending on what you have on hand, your acid can be kalamansi juice, orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice, pineapple juice, even vinegar. The sweetener can be sugar, molasses, a liquid sweetener (steer clear of high fructose corn syrup, please); in my case, I used jam, homemade mango jam to be precise (yes I belong to one of those families where preserved fruit recipes -- mango, banana, santol, etc -- aren't written down and are passed down via oral tradition). There are a ton of jams you could use: strawberry, blueberry, grape, mangosteen, guava, even marmalade and applesauce. The jam helps with the emulsification too. As with the oil, you can use any oil you got on hand; we only had sesame oil in the cupboard, so that's what I used.

Mango Sesame Dressing

1/4 cup + 2 tbsp kalamansi juice
2 heaping tbsp of mango jam (preferably homemade; check out a recipe here)
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, grated
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp water (optional)

Throw everything into an empty glass jar and shake well until emulsified. If too tart, you can add a bit of water.

The dressing was too darn easy to make and it was different. I mean, it wasn't your run of the mill balsamic house dressing, or some vinaigrette. Sometimes it's nice to mix and match the dressings you have at home.

There are so many permutations to this recipe. You can easily do the following combinations: lemon-strawberry, orange-blueberry, lime-maple syrup, pineapple-guava, lemon-apple, etc. etc. As with the oil, you can use any neutral vegetable, extra virgin olive oil, even virgin coconut oil.

I'm really not a big salad eater only because most restaurants with crap veg options usually only have leaves and tomatoes (aka "salad") as their sole vegetarian dish. If I was forced to eat dinner in a place that only had a salad, and the salad was leaves and tomatoes and balsamic dressing, I'd rather eat nothing. I am so tired of plain salads!

Sometimes the dressing really makes an impact on the salad and turns a crap salad into an awesome salad.


Veg-a-Nut said...

Delish! Don't you just love those throw together meals that just come out perfect!

I am always on the look out for more dressing ideas.

vegan domestic goddess said...

I know, sometimes it takes a semi-unfortunate accident to get the creative juices flowing and concoct something unexpectedly awesome!

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