Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Simple Salad Dressings

This cookbook lists 1000 no-cook salad dressings by combining 10 bases with 10 flavouring techniques and 10 additives. 

Salad Dressing – A Primer : Salad dressings are Salad Sauces, which make a salad taste extra delicious. Oil / lemon juice / vinegar / Soya sauce & Salt were some of the earliest salad dressings.  Later, a variety of spices were mixed into these basic dressings. Sesame seed paste ( tahini) is used as a dressing and dip across the Middle east,  Soy sauce is used across the far east and soy sauce mixed with mayonnaise is popular in Japan. Lemon Juice is India’s favourite salad dressing.    Emulsions (like Mayo, vinaigrette) were perfected in France and have become the most popular dressings in the western world. Buttermilk based Ranch dressings, Vinaigrette based Italian and French dressings, & Mayonnaise based Thousand Island dressing, are some of the most popular salad dressings. Salad dressings need not be limited to vegetables, but can also be used as dips or spreads.   

Emulsion is a mixture of liquids, which normally do not mix - like oil and vinegar. They can be temporarily mixed by whisking them together - but they soon separate. If whisked together using a 'glue' like egg yolk, mustard powder, agar gum etc, they remain 'stuck' as a creamy emulsion. Mayonnaise and vinaigrette are emulsions.   

Mayonnaise Variations :
Local oils / vinegars / additives are used across the world to produce variations of mayonnaise. Rice vinegar & soy sauce is added to mayo in Japan, safflower oil in Russia, sugar in Australia, ketchup in Argentina, garlic and olive oil in Europe etc., See 1001 Mayo cookbook for more.

Tips :
1. Mix in dressing just before serving as most dressings make salads wilt .
2. If you plan to store the salad, do so without dressing.

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