Pear Salad Dressing

  • 2 pears
  • 1/4-1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup rice wine or sherry vinegar
  • fresh thyme
  • 3/4 cup olive oil

Peel, seed and rough chop pears and braise in wine until nearly all liquid is gone.  Put cooked pears in food processor or blender.  Add remaining ingredients, except olive oil, to processor or blender and mix until nearly smooth.  Add the olive oil in a steady stream while machine is on.  Add salt and ground pepper to taste.  Warm and serve over spinach to create a wilted salad or serve room temperature over salad greens.  Add more fresh ground pepper to salad, and if desired, roasted hazelnuts chopped and/or blue, goat or feta cheese.

From Caprial Pence.

Hot Bacon Salad Dressing

  • 10 slices smoked lean bacon
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 10 green onions, chopped
  • 1 egg yolk, boiled and grated
  • salt and pepper, to taste (optional)

In a skillet, sauté bacon until crisp; crumble into pan. Drain, reserving a tablespoon of bacon drippings. Add sugar, vinegar, horseradish and pepper.  Chop green onions (use the green tops as well as the white portions). Sauté for 1 minute.  Pour immediately over baby lettuce or potatoes. Sprinkle boiled, grated egg over the salad as a garnish.  Note: Be sure lettuce or potatoes are dry so they are better able to absorb the dressing.  Season, if desired, with salt and pepper. Serve hot.


Floating Clouds Miso Dressing

  • 6 Tbs. veg oil
  • 1/4 Tsp. sesame oil
  • 2 Tbs. rice vinegar or lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs. red, barley, or Hatcho miso
  • 1/4 C. water (if needed)
  • 1/2 clove garlic, crushed
  • dash of powdered ginger
  • dash of dry mustard (or use a prepared sweet-hot honey mustard)

Combine all ingredients; whisk or shake well.  If the dressing seems at all weak, just pump up the miso and garlic.

From The Book of Miso by Shurtleff and Aoyagi.

Cashew Salad with Tamarind Dressing

  • 8 Chinese cabbage leaves
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 cucumber
  • 6 scallions
  • 8 slices dried mango
  • ½ cup cashews, toasted and coarsely crushed

For the dressing:

  • 1 ½ Tbsp. tamarind paste
  • ½ tsp. coarsely crushed toasted Szechuan peppercorns
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. Thai basil or cilantro, chopped
  • Salt to taste

Put tamarind paste, Szechuan pepper, sesame oil, garlic, sugar and chopped herb into a screw-top jar and shake well. Set aside. Stack the Chinese cabbage leaves on top of one another and slice thinly. Julienne or grate the carrot into long thin sticks about 2” long. Seed and slice the cucumbers into long thin 2” sticks. Divide the shredded leaves onto four plates, top with the strips of carrot and cucumber. Top with chopped scallions and dried mango. Drizzle the dressing over the salads and sprinkle cashews on top. Serve immediately. Serves 4. From Easy Vegan from Ryland Peters and Small.

Barley Risotto with Greens, Radicchio and Leeks

  • 1 ¼ cups pearl barley
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. spring greens
  • 4 large radicchio or endive leaves, torn
  • 1 lemon, finely grated zest and juice
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped

Put barley in a large heatproof bowl and add sufficient boiling water to cover. Let sit 10 minutes to soften the barley a little, then drain well and set aside. Put 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet set over medium heat. Add the greens and radicchio and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often, until the leaves soften. Add the lemon zest and juice, stir well, and set aside. Put the stock in a large saucepan set over low heat and gently warm through while you start the risotto. Put the remaining tablespoon of oil in a saucepan set over medium heat. Add the leeks and the garlic and cook for 4-5 minutes until the leeks are soft and silky. Add the barley and herbs and stir for 1 minute. Add a ladleful of the warmed stock and cook, stirring constantly, until almost all the stock has been absorbed. Repeat the process until all the stock has been incorporated and the barley is almost cooked through—the risotto will be quite wet. Add the greens and radicchio to the pan and stir well to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper, sprinkle with parsley and serve hot. Serves 4. From Easy Vegan from Ryland Peters and Small.

Avocado and Buttermilk Salad Dressing

  • 1/2 Hass avocado, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 small shallot or onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 small garlic clove, smashed
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper

In a blender, combine the avocado with the buttermilk, vinegar, shallot, parsley and garlic and process until smooth. With the machine on, add the vegetable oil in a thin stream and process until smooth. Season with salt and white pepper.