As the summer draws to a close, I’m letting my favorite salads have one last hoorah. I made this one for a bonfire picnic we attended last weekend. Thankfully, the weather’s still hot and this salad is a welcome treat when all you want is something cold. I think everyone has a version of this recipe already in their collection somewhere. This is just my take on it. Enjoy, and Happy Labor Day!
Never go to the market when you’re hungry. Isn’t that what they always say? My daughter and I went to the store to pick up a few things we needed for our family’s dinners this week. Right at lunch time! Both of us were very hungry, so needless to say, we picked up our share of fun snacks. Everywhere we turned there was something we wanted to try. Before we left with all our goodies, we made one more stop at the market sushi counter to pick up some veggie rolls that we planned to gobble down as soon as we got home.
On the drive home, it occurred to me that in our hunger-crazed haste, we forgot to pick up our favorite asian sesame dressing to use on our veggie rolls (we put dressing on everything ’round here.) So as we made our way home, I mentally ran through what I had in stock at the house and realized I could probably throw one together with what we already had. It turned out great! I plan to use it as a marinade for chicken this week as well.
Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette (Dressing/Dip/Marinade)
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1 tsp onion flakes (I used dried chopped red onion because I had it on hand. Finely minced shallot would be lovely too, though)
- 2 tsp agave
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger (I used the pretty shavings that came with our veggie rolls)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup salad oil of your choice (I used vegetable oil)
Combine the rice vinegar, onion, agave, soy sauce, tahini and ginger. I used an immersion blender to blend it all, but a vigorous whisking would work just fine.
Slowly drizzle in your oils while blending or whisking well to fully incorporate the oils with the other ingredients. Some folks like their dressing more oily than others, so stop around the 1/2 cup mark and do a taste test. Then slowly drizzle in more oil until you get the balance of vinegar and oil that you prefer. We like our dressings on the vinegary side over here.
Store in the fridge for up to a week.
Welcome to day three of Thanksgiving Prep Week!
This recipe goes back a long way. It was 1994. I was engaged to Hubberman (I guess he was “Fianceman” then,) still living with my folks, planning a wedding, and preparing for life as a married woman. One night, in a particularly frenzied display of neuroticism, I came to the frightening conclusion that I didn’t have nearly enough recipes in my personal arsenal. All of a sudden I was panicking – how would Fianceman and I survive if I didn’t have a recipe box bursting with recipes?? I began frantically pouring over every home and cooking magazine I could get my hands on, clipping like a mad woman. This recipe was one the fruits of this neurotic labor.
Sure, my fears were unfounded and a wee bit over the top. What I didn’t realize then was that it takes time and effort to accumulate a collection of tried and true recipes. All of the recipes I clipped back then are still in my collection, but many have never been prepared. This one is an exception.
I made this recipe that very same year on a trip to New Jersey to celebrate Thanksgiving with Fianceman’s family. I’ve been making it ever since. I’ve made it enough years now that Thanksgiving just isn’t the same for me without it.
No-Cook Cranberry Relish
Adapted from a recipe clipped frantically from Good Housekeeping Magazine
- 1 bag cranberries
- 1 can halved, peeled apricots in heavy syrup
- ½ cup(s) (about 4 ounces) pitted prunes
- ¼ cup(s) sugar or sweetener of your choice (I have used agave and honey with great results)
- 1 teaspoon(s) grated peeled gingerroot (sometimes I use a 1/4 tsp of ground ginger in a pinch)
1. In food processor with knife blade attached, blend cranberries until coarsely chopped (or with knife, coarsely chop cranberries on cutting board); remove to medium bowl.
2. Drain syrup from apricots into bowl with cranberries.
3. Place drained apricots and prunes into the food processor and blend until smooth. Add to bowl of cranberries.
4. Stir apricots, prunes, sugar, and ginger into cranberries. Cover relish and refrigerate at least 1 hour. (it’s even better if it sits overnight.) Serve relish with roast poultry or baked ham.