A few years ago I stopped buying store bought salad dressings in favor of making my own tasty little vinaigrettes. The flavor of my salads tremendously increased, instead of being all about the dressing, the ripe vegetables and crisp greens shine when lightly dressed with an emulsion of citrus, oils, vinegars, and condiments. Not only do they taste better, but dressings made from scratch are much healthier. Don't get overwhelmed, vinaigrettes are simple to make and usually involve throwing all of the ingredients into a processor or jar and blitzing or shaking away. To give homemade salad dressing a try and make this for dinner tonight,
For the dressing:
1 can (about 15 ounces) apricot halves in extra-light syrup, drained (reserve syrup)
1/3 cup syrup from apricots
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
For the salmon:
1 pound salmon fillet, pin bones removed
2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
For the salad:
1 head (about 1 1/2 pounds) bok choy, cleaned and cut in bite-size pieces
9 ounces cleaned baby spinach or spring greens
1 red pepper, seeded, cored and cut in thin strips
3 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
24 snow pea pods, cut in thirds
1/2 cup canned, sliced water chestnuts, cut in strips
6 slices candied ginger, finely diced
- To make the dressing, purée all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.
- Coat the salmon with teriyaki sauce and spray oil, and grill for about 5 minutes per side over a medium-hot direct fire until the fish flakes to gently pressure. Set aside.
- Toss all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl with 1 cup dressing.
- Divide salad among 6 plates and top with a portion of salmon and a spoonful of the remaining dressing.