sauce salade (sos sa-lad = salad dressing)
First things first. Salad dressing as you know it does not exist here. We do not have Newman's Own, Wishbone or any other brand. Oh sure, you can pay 7 euros for a bottle of these imports at select shops (Lafayette Gourmet anyone? LOVE going there) but the French versions of these salad dressings are made with mayo or fromage blanc. Either way, they are mostly pretty vile coming from such a rich dressing culture. Ahem.
After so much time here I've gone local. Local = vinaigrette. Yes we all know the bottled vinaigrette but do you make vinaigrette? Easy, simple and you don't even need a shaker folks! Prepare it right in the salad bowl you will use. Place your greens on top and toss only before you're going to set it out with the fromage so it won't get soggy. Dress it up, keep it basic but, please, try it!
+/- 4 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Sel de Guèrande (rock salt)
dash of pepper (go for freshly ground)
BASIC + :
The BASIC recipe plus any combination of the following:
herbes de provence
dash of lemon juice
a dash of flavored oil
etc. . .
BASIC + for a Warm Goat's Cheese salad:
The BASIC recipe plus
+/- 1 tsp of fine mustard
1 tsp honey or maple syrup (the fake stuff works best, shhhhh!)
Laugh with me, not at me :
One of the first times I was at the family home in "the South" I decided to be polite and offer my services in the kitchen. Of course, this was before I knew what a rockstar cook my m-i-l is and before I knew that "oui" can also mean "non, merci". I was secretly hoping I wouldn't be given too daunting a task like washing the salad greens (I'm so serious) so I was happy when I was given the job of making the vinaigrette. Mind you, at this point I had seen vinaigrette made, like . . . . . twice. Pas de problem!
So there I am acting all cool putting the ingredients in the salad bowl except I hadn't noticed how much balsamic vinegar I'd put in . . .
We had puckered-lip salad that day. My poor parents in law, I'm sure they retired early that evening to take a Maalox. My help in the kitchen wasn't oft required after that. Ya think?! Which reminds me of the time I made Shepherd's Pie . . .
Bon week-end à tous!