A meal was never complete without a salad, growing up. Dressings were simple, a squeeze of a lime, some olive oil and a pinch of salt. There were times my mom indulged us with a more ‘creative’ dressing but I couldn’t even begin to tell you what was in them. Well, I know there was ketchup, mayo, lots of oregano and then from there I don’t think she could even tell you. She used whatever we had on hand and never measured a thing, but it was ALWAYS delicious.
Now this dressing, my husband wanted Caesar, I wanted a vinaigrette and then we had no anchovy paste on hand so we compromised and birthed this deliciousness. A dance between Caesar and vinaigrette.
“The standard vinaigrette ratio is 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar but I always prefer less oil as I want the acidity to shine a bit brighter.”
On most days, I grab some lettuce and tear it up with my hands and add what I have available, such as: bell peppers, tomatoes, grated carrots, Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced onions, beans, olives, feta to name a few.
Get your hands in there! After learning a bit about Alice Waters and her methodology in the kitchen, I resolved that the more I can use my hands instead of equipment (ie: in this instance a knife), the more I was connected with my food. So get your ingredients ready, add in a few tablespoons of dressing and start tossing and tasting with your hands until you get it just how you want it.
Rich and Creamy Caesar Dressing with Apple Cider Vinegar
The technique behind this dressing was inspired by Alice Water’s approach in her book, In the Green Kitchen. Get that mortar and pestle ready!
1 garlic clove
1/2 tsp of sugar
1/2 tsp of salt
2 tbsp of mayo
1 1/2 tbsp of Dijon mustard (yellow mustard works too)
1/2 tsp of pepper
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup of olive oil
- Grab a mortar and pestle and add in the garlic, salt and sugar. Crush the garlic until it is no longer visible to the eye (see image above).
- Add in the mayo, mustard, pepper and apple cider vinegar and give it a good stir, making sure to grab all the garlic that was crushed along the sides.
- Drizzle in the olive oil slowly, whisking it vigorously to emulsify it.
- Squeeze in a few drops of lemon juice at this point and adjust to taste.
This makes about 3/4 cup of dressing. Stores well for about a week.