Dress To Impress

Make every salad a show stopper with the right dressing.

Salads should not be ignored – they can be incredibly diverse and a great way to enjoy vibrant flavours. A salad can be as simple as vegetables already in your crisper like romaine, cucumbers and tomatoes, or as fancy as an extra trip to the grocery store for pine nuts, beets and goat cheese. The versatility of salad is our favourite thing about them – get inventive because anything goes!

Core to any great salad is the dressing - it’s the not-so-secret ingredient that can take ordinary to extraordinary, and a classic to an innovation. Dressings are all about balance of flavour - where salty pulls against sweet, or the bright tones of citrus play off the buttery undertones of olive oil.

We asked Chef Brandon what to do when your salad dressing isn’t quite hitting the mark. How do you bring an out-of-balance dressing back into perfect harmony?

Chef Brandon’s guidelines to a well balanced salad

Too Sweet:
Add a savoury component such as salt, soy or miso. Just match the component to the flavour profile.

Too Salty:
While sugar can be easy to reach for, other recommendations are honey, maple syrup or agave syrup.

Too Acidic:
Add something creamy. Add additional oil. You can also use mashed avocado, buttermilk, Dijon mustard or Greek yogurt.

Too Flat:
Add bright notes with fresh herbs, minced shallots, citrus or garlic.

And above all else: never over-dress a salad!

Here’s a go-to classic French vinaigrette that will dress up any green salad.

¼ cup white or red wine vinegar
1 tbsp finely diced shallot
½ tsp Dijon mustard
¼ tsp black pepper
½ tsp salt
¾ c olive oil

Whisk together the first 5 ingredients; in a slow stream whisk in olive oil until the dressing is well blended and has a uniform consistency.

Dressing is a way of life
–Yves Saint Laurent.
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