A Great French Style Salad Dressing

I bought a bottle of Walnut Oil to use as a food safe wood finish. The wonderful smell got to me, and I had to splurge and make some salad dressing with it. It will be difficult to use any other dressing, after tasting this.

Recipe

3 tablespoons Walnut Oil

1 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard

Honey to taste

Salt and Pepper

Fresh Herbs–Basil, Parsley, and/or Oregano

Simply whisk all of these together, taste it, try not to salivate, and you’re done. This is plenty for two salads.

If you spill some Walnut oil on your cutting board, no worries–it’s the finest food safe finish around, and it will just make your kitchen small better. It is a bit pricey, and imagine this moocher’s reaction when he found the same amount of oil for $1 cheaper at–audible gasp–Whole Foods.

Julia Child’s Olive Oil Mayonnaise

Yes, that is Mellow Yellow Mayo

Having made a decent regular mayo with peanut oil, I decided to up my game and make a version that Julia Child made. She actually has more than a dozen recipes in the classic Mastering the Art of French cooking, so I had to pick and choose. I just went with a version of the first one.

Ingredients

2 Egg Yolks

2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

1/4 teaspoon Salt

1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

1 cup Olive Oil (approximately)

I made this in our ancient Kitchenaid Stand Mixer, which is well into its thirties. Add the yolks first, and whisk for a couple of minutes. Add everything else but the oil, and mix for a few seconds to incorporate those. Then comes the only tricky part.

Crank up the machine again, and whisk in the oil very slowly at the beginning, barely a drop at a time. Make sure that an emulsification is forming before you add more. Once chemistry begins to happen, add the oil more quickly. When the stuff looks like mayo, it’s done. Throw it in a jar, and store in the fridge.

Olive oil makes a very strong tasting mayo that makes a superb salad dressing. The amount of oil needed is actually dependent on the size of the egg yolks used, so there will be some variation. I do have one of the simplest pseudo French Dressing recipes in history, which I made with this. It was delicious.

Ingredients

Olive oil mayo

Ketchup

Sweet Pickle Relish

That’s it. Vary the proportions any way you like. I go three mayos to one ketchup, and relish to taste. Additions can include onions, herbs, vinegar, pepper, honey, sugar, and anything else you desire. This is a perfect recipe for people who are in their salad years.

Mesclun

Live Long and Prosper

Mesclun season is about gone here now, but the fall season is just around the corner. The idea of having a real mixture of baby greens came from the beautiful French province of Provence, where mesclun is a fixture in farmer’s markets.

This mixture of lettuces are the result of a 99 cent purchase of seeds from Ebay. In the adjacent bed there is also Mizuna, Bak Choi, and Broccoli Raab. It’s a virtual UN of salad greens.

A planter is all anyone needs to grow Mesclun, which is a note to poor sods who live in cities. I always serve mine with some jumped up remoulade sauce–with honey and hot sauce added.

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