Thursday, March 18, 2010

Horseradish Salad Dressing

I just made my own salad dressing. I’ve been making salads to go with the sandwich I will often take to work for lunches. They’re cheap and keep me away from chips and other semi-food items that taunt the American worker.

I like to get the non-iceberg lettuce and herb mix and add grape tomatoes, red bell pepper and cucumber. I’ve tried a few other things but this makes an easy to prepare salad. I would put in onions and carrots but I put the onion on the sandwich and just have carrots around to munch on during the day if I get peckish.

I wanted something a little spicy (or a lot spicy) but didn’t know what I wanted to do. There are lots of spicy things out there; peppers, ginger, horseradish, onions, mustards and other things I can’t remember. I also really like balsamic vinegar. I decided that something with horseradish and balsamic vinegar was what I wanted to try.

I looked around the grocery store and could only find creamed horseradish preparations that didn’t look that good (most had added sugar that I’m trying to stay away from). So I bought a horseradish root. There was already garlic and olive oil at the house so I picked up some balsamic vinegar and some cilantro.

I got together with my friend Lionel (who is staying with me at the moment while looking for work in the Seattle area) and his mini food processor and whipped up a batch that tasted good but wasn’t spicy. I had some on today’s salad and it was tasty; but not spicy. I wanted something spicy. After doing some reading on-line (where else) I came across an article that said the vinegar will set the horseradish and keep it from being very spicy. A different article had hints on making a paste out of the horseradish root with the food processor.

When I got home I peeled a good section of the horseradish, chopped it up and put it in the food processor. I added some garlic (very precise measurements) and some water and pureed the lot. At this point I added some onion and pureed that too. Then came the cilantro; I didn’t use all of it but I had a pretty healthy amount. After running it through the processor it lost a lot of its volume. At this point I have a very tasty blend that will open your sinuses right up; no questions, they’re open.

We mixed some of this into the balsamic vinaigrette from yesterday and it is exactly what I was looking for. I almost made a salad right then just to have some on it. Lionel had some edamame hummus with him and we added some of the horseradish base to that and it was very yummy.

Of course Lionel makes a pretty good Jalapeno, cilantro hummus and is experimenting with a chipotle hummus (I must say I found them both tasty and spicy but not so fiery I didn’t enjoy them).


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