Around the Table – August 14, 2019

Summer Salads – Dressed to Kill

Salad can be a nice plate of leaves and vegetables, but lately they are becoming so much more. During the heat of the summer, salad becomes more important and more frequent, especially at my place. Because the grill is running more, it allows me to get creative with my salads. One or two nights a week I am grilling vegetables that will be used on my summer salads, vegetables such as; roasted corn, lengths of zucchini, long green onions, tomatoes brushed with olive oil and lightly charred, seasoned carefully and dusted with chopped herbs.
 
The grilled vegetables really livens the taste and texture of the typical summer salad of greens. Salads are meant to be flavorful, refreshing, interesting and nutritious. However, there is one last ingredient that turns a simple summer salad into a bowl of creativity, a pure mouthwatering dish, and is probably the most important component to me: the dressing.
DRESSING IS EVERYTHING
A summer salad only deserves the best dressing. I’ll be the first to admit there are some great dressings out there, but for me it’s all about homemade.
 
Great, but simple ingredients are a must. Your access to wonderful, flavorful, unique ingredients is limitless. This is where I don’t skimp; when I’m buying red wine vinegar or olive oil- quality doesn’t have to mean fancy. I also stress the balance of richness, spiciness, sour & sweet when blending dressing and tasting. And don’t forget, seasoning is a must! I prefer, and obviously enjoy fresh herbs but don’t ignore dried oregano- there’s always a home for the spice in a robust red wine vinaigrette.
 
Homemade dressings are so easy to make and infinitely better tasting and better for you. I hope you’re making dressings at home. If you are and could use (or want) some further inspiration, here are a few great summertime examples to try!
 
Bonus, both recipes work as a dressing or quick marinade!
 
THE FAMOUS LEMON-THYME
Ingredients
  • 1 cup White Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Thyme, stemmed & finely minced
  • 1 tbsp White Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 1 tb Minced Shallot
  • 3 cups Light salad oil, canola or light olive oil
  • Salt & pepper for taste
Directions
  • Mince shallot & fresh thyme
  • Combine all, except oil
  • Incorporate oil by whisking to create an emulsion
  • Taste, season, taste again

SHERRY ORANGE VINAIGRETTE

Ingredients
  • 2 Oranges, peeled, segmented, squeezed, reserve
  • 2 tb Dijon mustard
  • 2 tb Honey
  • 3 oz Sherry Vinegar
  • 6 oz Olive Oil or oil of choice
 
Directions
  • Select the best oranges of the season
  • Carefully peel with a knife, leave whole
  • Segment with a sharp paring knife into your mixing bowl
  • Squeeze the juice from the membrane over the orange segments
  • Add the mustard, honey & vinegar
  • Incorporate oil by whisking to create an emulsion
  • Taste, season, taste again
Regarding our dressings here at Colleton, every drop is house made, with only the best ingredients available. We don’t use stabilizers or flavorings in the production of these recipes, just fresh and simple ingredients.
 
Enjoy your craft!
 
 
—Chef Robert
 

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