5 Unusual Salad Dressings to keep in your Handbag!

Yesterday I had a wander around Padstow – it was closed!!!  Almost all the restaurant and about half of the shops said they would not be open in January.  Luckily it was a incredibly lovely day, January 11th but more like late March, and Padstow was in bloom – I took all these pictures!

11th January 2012 - Padstow, Cornwall

I met up with my friend Carol and we went to The Cornish Arms, an old pub in the nearby village of St. Merryn which has two claims to fame; 1) I used to work there, and 2) it is now one of Rick Stein’s places.

Lunch was very good, I had a Colston Basset Stilton and Tomato Tart with lots of rocket.  Tomatoes and blue cheese don’t immediately spring to my mind as a great flavour pairing but it worked well.  Carol had a homemade burger which she said was excellent and ordered salad instead of chips.  

We were, however, rather irritated!

We were both vexed about the same thing which often irritates us when eating out in the UK – 

Why in this country are salads not dressed, dressing not offered and the makings not available on the table???

As it happened I had just bought some Roasted Garlic Mayonnaise so we resorted to that to cheer up our salads!  I am seriously thinking of making myself a little Travelling Seasoning Kit to keep with me when I go out; vinaigrette, chilli flakes, sea salt, black garlic, smoked black pepper, vanilla sugar, that sort of thing.

Here are a few dressing recipes you might like to keep in your handbag!!! 

Caramelised Red Wine Vinaigrette

This a good way to use up leftover wine if you really, really can’t drink it! News from the future - here is a great post giving 23 more ideas for "leftover wine". 

~   Boil together 60ml of (leftover) red wine, 60 ml of water and 60g of sugar till it caramelises. 
~   Add 240ml of red wine and reduce the whole lot down to 60ml. 
~   Whisk in 120ml good olive oil, taste and season – black pepper would be good.

Lemon Poppyseed Dressing

~   Whisk together the juice of 1 lemon, 1 tsp of poppyseeds, ½ tsp finely grated lemon zest and a generous grinding of black pepper.
~   Whisk in 180ml good olive oil.
~   Add crunchy sea salt to taste.

Sweet Chilli Dressing

~   Whisk together Thai sweet chilli sauce and lime juice.
~   Whisk in 2 tsp sesame oil and 4 tbsp light olive oil.
~   Taste and season.


Burnt Orange Dressing  

~   Simply boil down pure orange juice till it is reduced to a syrup 
~   Whisk in a little Dijon mustard and 2 parts of olive oil for one part of reduced orange juice.

Balsamic Honey Mustard Dressing  ~ see here for recipe

West Indian Pepper Wine

I used to serve this traditional condiment with Seafood Chowder for drizzling purposes, it contains no wine nor any pepper; pepper refers to chilli pepper and I'm not too sure about the wine bit. It is very simple, however:

~   Put a dried chilli or two into a sealable bottle (small enough to go in your handbag) and top up with rum.
~   Seal tightly and leave for a day or so but as long as you like before using.

Garlic, onions, anchovies, herbs, cheese and other fresh ingredients. can be added to these dressings to some advantage, e.g. blue cheese crumbled into the Balsamic Dressing is very good, but please do consider the ambient temperature of your handbag!

24 more delicious vinaigrette recipes here.

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