Sunday, April 7, 2013
A QUICKIE-- A NEW LOW-FAT OR NO-FAT FRUIT-BASED (BUT NOT SWEET) SALAD DRESSING
I'm a bit late blogging this week and this will be a quickie blog post, too. Easter, company, family stuff and working on a longer post (cookbook review) got in the way. But, until I get that one done (tomorrow?), here's a new recipe I'm quite pleased with.
I'm always on the lookout for low-fat salad dressings that don't scream "low-fat"-- dressings that I can serve to guests who never worry about fat or calories, confident that they won't be disappointed. I have been using dressings made with my Oil Substitute for Salad Dressings (4 parts to 1 part olive oil, usually), such as Figgy-Balsamic-Sesame Vinaigrette and variations thereof; or silken-tofu-based dressings, such as Lowfat Poppyseed Dressing or Creamy Lemon-Agave Dressing. Lately I've been experimenting with creamy dressings made with well-cooked white beans or chickpeas, such as Oil-Free Creamy Bean-Based "Caesar" Dressing. (I've found that white beans make a good substitute for silken tofu in dressings, if you blend them until they are very smooth. This is good news because they are much less expensive than silken tofu, and soy-free, if that is a concern.) On occasion I've used fruit or vegetable-thickened dressings, such as Roasted Garlic Dressing or Blueberry/Pomegranate Vinaigrette. They have all been well-received. (I haven't had much luck with chia seed dressings, though, for some reason-- maybe I just don't like chia.)
Today, I had a couple of ripe pears around and I remembered that blended raw pears made a delicious, creamy dessert sauce. Since pears are a mild-tasting fruit and their fruit is a bit pulpy, but blends down to a creamy texture, I thought it might make a nice thickening for salad dressing, too. I was right, and the resulting recipe is below. NOTE: Though I added a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, I think it would be fine without it. And I think this recipe would be an excellent base recipe for all sorts of variations. I hope you enjoy it.
Note: When you are tasting your salad dressing, remember that this is not something you are going to drink-- you are only going to use a bit of it to dress your salad greens. So, it should not have a sharpness that will hit you at the back of the throat and make your eyes water, but it should be full-flavored.
BRYANNA'S CREAMY PEAR-BASED VINAIGRETTE (TARRAGON VERSION)
Makes about 2 cups
Play around with this recipe, using different varieties of vinegar (or lemon or lime juice), different herbs, and other types of oil (if you use oil), such as roasted sesame or nut oil.
1 medium, ripe pear, peeled and cored and cut into small dice (should be about 1 cup)
1/2 cup water + 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (or, for No-Fat, omit the oil and use use 2 tablespoons more water, or juice, or non-dairy milk, creamer or yogurt)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, or white balsamic vinegar, or unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Optional: 1/2 tablespoon golden flax seeds
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
Blend all of the ingredients together in a high-speed blender until very smooth. Store in a covered jar in the refrigerator. Simple as that!