Dress It Up, Dress It Down

Two salad dressings that have you —and your greens—covered.

March 11, 2017

Issue 23: March/April 2017Sonoran Skillet

Every so often, I get sucked in by the siren song of takeout. On those days when I’m at work until 6:30 p.m., and still need to walk the dog, it can be 7:30 or 8 before I’m faced with the decision of what to make for dinner. Sometimes I cave to the pressure and get ph or a burrito on my way home. But I end up shelling out $10-20, and all the while lonely CSA vegetables sit waiting patiently in the fridge at home. I know, life is rough. But unused-CSA-veggie-guilt is a real thing.

Most weeks, though, I do a few things on the weekend in order to get ahead of the game. I have a friend who washes, dries, and chops all of her CSA vegetables every Sunday to have them ready to go throughout the week. I’m not quite this disciplined, but I do usually have salad greens washed and stored in the salad spinner in the fridge. Sometimes I make a big batch of grains or a frittata, which is great leftover on a slice of Barrio bread as you jet out the door.

I also always have at least one or two kinds of homemade salad dressings on hand. Please, friends, beware bottled dressings. They are full of cheap oil and sugars, and are also much more expensive than making your own.

If you’re reading Edible Baja Arizona, you probably already have a vinaigrette regimen using olive oil and citrus or vinegar. I also add a touch of agave nectar and Dijon mustard, and sometimes a crushed clove of garlic or diced shallot to give it extra punch. Lately, though, I’ve been expanding my repertoire of dressings—especially creamy ones with stronger flavor profiles than vinaigrettes. These dressings are super-versatile and can transform ho-hum staples into gourmet dishes. Once you’ve got the recipe down pat, you can mix and match these dressings with any number of combinations of greens and grains, adding cheeses, nuts, and meats, depending on what’s in season and what’s in your pantry.

These two recipes can also double as dips. I’ve used my Green Goddess as a dip for fried green tomatoes, fried squash blossoms—pretty much anything fried. Plunge crudités into this tahini dip or spread it on grilled eggplant.

Tahini-Date Dressing
Print Recipe
Tahini-Date Dressing
Print Recipe
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or Vita-Mix blender and blend until well combined and the date has been pulverized. The miso is salty, so you may not need much salt, but taste and add salt or a touch of tamari if you like.
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

Green Goddess Dressing
Print Recipe
Green Goddess Dressing
Print Recipe
Instructions
  1. Some Green Goddess dressing recipes call for garlic, but I find it too overpowering for this delicate dressing. Green garlic and spring onions are in season in the spring, and deliver just the right amount of allium pungency. Blend all ingredients in food processor or blender. Pour liberally on everything.
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

A Mighty Cobb Salad
Print Recipe
This really isn’t a recipe. You can use whatever you have on hand. But this is how I do it, and really, I believe the technique of handling the greens and cooking the eggs just right is important. So here we go.
A Mighty Cobb Salad
Print Recipe
This really isn’t a recipe. You can use whatever you have on hand. But this is how I do it, and really, I believe the technique of handling the greens and cooking the eggs just right is important. So here we go.
Instructions
  1. Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Cover and bring just to a rolling boil. Right when it starts boiling, turn off heat, leave on lid, and let sit for 12 minutes. Immediately drain hot water and rinse in cold water. Peel and chop.
  2. Peel beet and shave into pretty paper-thin slices with a mandolin or a peeler. I only recently discovered how great beets are raw.
  3. Place bacon in a cold cast-iron skillet or other pan. Cook on low heat until browned, turning once, about 10 minutes. Drain on a paper towel, and crumble.
  4. Wash and spin dry your lettuces. Same with the kale. Trust me, a salad spinner is a must. Then shred the kale thinly—as thinly as you can. Massage the kale a little to make it more absorbent for the dressing. Mix in a bowl with torn lettuces, sprinkle with salt, and toss with your hands. Don’t be afraid to get your hands in a salad.
  5. In a shallow bowl, lay down a bed of lettuce. Arrange eggs, bacon, beets, and avocado on top. Drizzle with Green Goddess dressing. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds.
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

Collard Green Tofu Wraps
Print Recipe
Collard Green Tofu Wraps
Print Recipe
Instructions
  1. First, drain the tofu and wrap in a clean dishtowel. Set on a plate, and pile several more plates on top, to squeeze out the moisture. Let sit for 15 minutes or more. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice tofu into ¼-inch thick strips. Whisk sesame oil, vegetable oil, tamari, ginger, sriracha, and rice vinegar in a Tupperware or glass container with secure lid. Add tofu strips and turn container gently to coat all sides. Let marinate for 30 minutes. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Drain tofu and place slices on baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes and flip the slices, baking for 15 minutes more, until brown and crispy. (You can add these slices to any salad or sandwich.)
  2. For the wraps, lay the collard leaves flat, and cut along the stem so you have two large crescent-shaped pieces from each leaf. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt generously as if cooking pasta. Once hot, put two collard leaves in the water at a time for 3-5 seconds, and then plunge them into cold water to stop cooking. Place in a strainer, and repeat with all leaves.
  3. Line a large baking sheet with paper towels. Lay collard moon on the paper towels, and dab with another paper towel to dry. On one end, stack two basil leaves, a sprig of cilantro, a tofu slice, a slice of avocado, and a few pieces cucumber and carrot. Roll it up tightly, tucking in overhanging parts of the collards. Cut in half and serve with Tahini Dressing.
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

Cauliflower Fritters
Print Recipe
Cauliflower Fritters
Print Recipe
Instructions
  1. Steam cauliflower branches lightly in a steamer basket, no more than 4 minutes once the water boils. Drain well and cool slightly, and transfer to food processor. Add scallions, cumin, salt, and pepper, and pulse a few times to get a uniform consistency, but not until it’s a paste.
  2. Transfer to a bowl, and stir in parsley, flour, baking powder, and finally the one egg. If you cannot easily form balls without them crumbling apart, you may need to add more egg, or flour if the mixture is too wet. Form small patties with your hands, and place on a baking sheet. Roll each patty in the panko.
  3. Heat olive oil (you don’t need more than a ¼ inch depth of oil) in a cast iron skillet. Get it hot before dropping the patties into the pan. Fry until golden brown on both sides, flipping once. Drain on paper towels.
  4. Serve on a bed of arugula or other greens, and drizzle with Green Goddess dressing. Add some protein to this salad with a sliced hard-boiled egg or baked chickpeas. 
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

Pottery by Catherine Guibert-Orrantia. Catherine is a self-taught potter living in Tucson and makes pieces for local restaurants such as CORE Kitchen and Wine Bar and Starr Pass Marriot. Visit CatherineOrrantia.com.

Molly Kincaid is a Tucsonan who is obsessed with tinkering in the kitchen and reading cookbooks. Her favorite foods are, paradoxically, kale and pork belly.







Previous Post

Cruelty-Free Beer

Next Post

Farm Report: March/April 2017