Hi, folks. Before I start, show me your ID, please.
Because we’re going to be talking about one quintessential topic. Alcohol.
Nope, I’m not egging you on to have a glass of wine. I’m not going to judge you either.
Yet we’re going to discuss using alcohol in salads rather than drinking it (*hiding the glass behind the laptop*).
There’s one crucial rule. Alcohol makes any salad only better. Learn that by heart! Sure we should consider a moderate amount of alcohol. All the excessive alcohol you
must can have along with your salad.
The second rule. You can use basically all kinds of alcohol, I believe. So far, I’ve used whiskey, wine, sparkling wine, rum, and maybe a few more I cannot remember right now. Personally, I won’t use vodka because I detest it, but otherwise that’s up to you. I won’t recommend using too sweet liquors either because it’s difficult to balance them out.
And the last rule. Dressing is one way to incorporate alcohol, and there are a few other options. Play on texture!
Now, I’d love to a few concrete examples. I mean, there’s nothing to talk about the first one. It’s been written on the stone. Just remember it. And use it on a regular basis.
In my book, the best friends of a salad are wine and sparkling wine. Adding them makes salads fresh, with a tart or sweet aftertaste in the background, but on the other hand, they won’t be overpowering. Try the combo of chicken, pears, and cheese with white wine dressing. Red wine will perfectly go with almost any fruit and berries, especially red.
As for sparkling wine, it’s quite neutral, but it still introduce a lovely boozy aftertaste. For instance, try a combo of chicken, nuts, grapefruit with a raspberry sparkling wine dressing.
Whiskey and similar strong drinks are well paired with poultry, shrimp, and chicken liver. Yes, I know a lot of people hate liver, but if you’re not among them, try it. It’s simple. While cooking liver, just sprinkle it with some alcohol. Indeed, stay tuned because I’ll post soon a recipe for liver salad (sorry no alcohol added). Or just imagine this combo: liver, tomatoes, avocados, lettuce, and hard boiled eggs with a ketchup-mayo-whiskey/brandy dressing. That’s obviously not a healthy option, but it’s so scrumptious! There’s one more example. In 2011, on a Valentines dinner, I made a simple salad with shrimp, oranges, and arugula. To spruce it up, I made a mayo and whiskey dressing. It was simple yet delish!
Rum. I know some my food buddies (I’m not going to embarrass them by disclosing their names, xoxo-xo) are waiting exactly for rum dressing:) Again, stay tuned, and I’ll try to post THAT highly anticipated recipe next week.
And now a few notes on a texture. Now we’ve learned a simple dressing always is a good way. But what about making jello?! Once, when I was still young and handsome, I made pink sparkling wine jello, then cut it in cubes, and topped my salad (it was simple Shrimp and kumquat salad, if you’re interested). Not exactly the dressing, but it worked!
Plus, you can always freeze you dressing and maki kind of soft sorbet. I won’t be repeating that – I did that in this recipe. Again, you’ve got a lot of options. But I think rum, wine, and sparkling wine are the best to go with. Just imagine: Mojito or Daiquiri dressing. Or play with prominent sparkling wine cocktails such as Bellini, Mimosa, or Rossini. Sure that’s not necessary to fully freeze them. A slush dressing would be as good as any other.
That’s some theory in a nutshell. I’ll need a lot of things to discover yet. For example, I’m thinking of vermouth and punch. And mulled wine dressing for a winter salad.
And I’ve got my homework too – this lovely Nectarine Salad with Wine Dressing. Just imagine this: succulent fruit, crispy almonds, and salty feta topped with tangy raspberry red wine sorbet – dressing.
That’s it for today, my friends.
And now you homework will be to use some alcohol in a salad dressing. And then report me.
And if you practice that, I will gladly hear about your experience. Thus, there are my questions to you. Have you ever tried a boozy dressing, and what kind of alcohol have you used?
Delicious, succulent and boozy Nectarine Salad with Wine Dressing.
- 3 cups raspberries (frozen are ok)
- 2 cups red wine
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon thyme
- 2-3 cups salad mix
- 2-3 nectarines or peaches
- 1/2 cup strawberries, sliced
- 1/3 cup feta, crumbled
- edible flowers, to garnish
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- 1/2 cup almond slivers
- 1 tablespoon honey
- To make the sorbet, put all the ingredients in a cup of your blender and proceed until smooth. Strain to remove the seeds. Try and adjust the taste by adding more honey or lime juice (depends on the wine you're using).
- Place the puree in a cup of an ice cream maker and proceed as recommended. You can use the soft dressing at once or put it in the fridge for a while. Sure, If you don't have an ice cream maker, just place the mixture in a container and put in the fridge, for two hours or so. Whisk with a fork few times.
- To make the almonds, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the almonds and toss them for a minute or so. Add the honey and cook for 1-2 minutes until lovely golden. Transfer the almonds on a piece of parchment and let them cool.
- Fos salad, in a bowl, mix all the remaining ingredients. Divide between plates. Top with a scoop of sorbet (remove from the fridge 5-7 minutes before serving) and garnish with the flowers.