With Christmas over, it's time to enjoy light, tempting, easy-to-assemble meals. Salads are the perfect solution and dressings help lift them to another level.
Vinaigrettes are very easy to whip up and are best enjoyed freshly made. Experiment with rice wine vinegar, red wine or raspberry vinegar, balsamic and sherry vinegars whisked with quality olive, avocado or walnut oil. Add seasoning such as wasabi, root ginger, crushed garlic and pomegranate molasses. These saucy numbers also make excellent marinades for meat.
Here's a favourite vinaigrette that will keep fresh in the fridge for five days. Combine one cup of red wine or raspberry vinegar, two diced shallots, two crushed cloves of garlic, two tablespoons of dried mixed herbs and salt and pepper.
Whisk well, warm for one minute in the microwave and then stand for several hours to allow the flavours to mature. Strain through a fine sieve then whisk in one-and-a-half cups of quality extra virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Leftovers from festive dinners can taste marvellous with a little imagination, such as: diced turkey tossed with pesto and lemon juice and served in lettuce cups; julienned lamb combined with balsamic vinaigrette and cold potatoes; or ham spread with horseradish and served with herb slaw in a pita pocket. All make easy, tasty holiday fare.
Whatever your salad combinations, keep them cool. Store in the refrigerator until just before serving.
If you are having a picnic, take them in a chillybin to deter bugs and bacteria.
Refresh salad greens before use. First wash carefully in cold water, then shake or pat dry gently with a paper towel.
Place loosely in a plastic bag. Do not pack tightly or squash. Refrigerate for at least one hour.