Showing posts with label honey mustard dressing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label honey mustard dressing. Show all posts

Monday, April 29, 2013

Krista's Honey Mustard Dressing

Do you have a signature dish? How about a go-to item? Something you make without giving it a lot of thought?

For me, one of those items is dressing. When I was writing The Diva Haunts the House, Sophie used my go-to quick dressing when she was making dinner. Here's the passage ~

I made a quick salad of soft baby spinach leaves, crisp apple slices, chewy dried cranberries, crunchy pecans, and thinly sliced red onion. In spite of my determination to act normal, I found I constantly looked out the kitchen window to be sure my assailant hadn’t returned. I whisked together tart apple cider vinegar, olive oil, honey, and mustard as a dressing and dinner was ready.

It's a book filled with Halloween fun, murder, vampires and a surprising kiss, yet the thing I'm asked about most often is that dressing. Now while I make it all the time, I never bother to stop and measure the ingredients. I just whip it together, taste it and add more of something if I need to.

I've finally measured everything and written it as a recipe. While Sophie used it at Halloween, it's good year round. If the salad ingredients are too fall-ish for you, swap out the apple slices and dried cranberries for sliced strawberries and blueberries. Power salad! Or try it with balsamic vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar.

It's worth noting that olive oil will change the flavor. I tried making it with my mother's preferred extra virgin olive oil, but it had such a heavy and distinctive taste that the dressing wasn't quite the same. I prefer Newman's Own Organic Olive Oil, but any olive oil without a strong flavor will do.

I typically use Annie's Horseradish Mustard but I've also made this with Dijon and it works just as well.

The dressing, as you might imagine from the honey, is sweet. I find it suits my picky eaters and as those who don't care for sweets much. Go figure.

And since this isn't much of a recipe, I'm sharing a favorite tip. My friend, Amy, never trusts the prepackaged salad labels that say it's already washed and ready to eat. I can't blame her. After all, there have been plenty of scares and recalls. Amy is very clever, though. She adds a big splash of vinegar to the water when she washes salads. You're probably going to dress it with something containing vinegar anyway, right? While vinegar won't kill everything, it does kill a lot of bacteria, mold, and germs.

One more thing! Quite a few of us from Mystery Lovers' Kitchen will be at Salt & Pepper Books in Occoquan, Virginia this Thursday, May 2nd, from 4PM to 7PM. We'll be signing books and having fun. Hope some of you can join us!

Fall Salad

spinach leaves
sliced red onion
chopped pecans (toast them first for company!)
dried cranberries
apple slices

Mix above, or arrange on individual plates.

Krista's Honey Mustard Dressing

1/4 cup olive oil (I like Newman's Own Organic)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons mustard

Pour all ingredients into a bowl and whisk together. Pour over salad and toss, drizzle over individual salads, or serve on the side.

Add a steak and it's dinner!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Winter Salad with Black-Eye Peas and Spinach

Contrary to appearances, my diet does not consist solely of cookies and cheesecake. Every year I forget how much I love black-eye peas until New Year's rolls around. Remember Elizabeth's collard greens? Black-eye peas are also supposed to be served on New Year's Day for good luck. I'm told the greens represent dollars and the peas represent coins.

I've cooked black-eye peas different ways, but this is my favorite. It might horrify our Southern readers to imagine black-eye peas that haven't been cooked with fatback, or at least sprinkled with bacon, but this is delicious, easy to prepare, vegetarian, and actually fairly healthy! It's not just for New Year's either.

A few years ago, a friend asked me to bring a salad to a winter get together. She suggested some ingredients, but let's face it, in most of the US, store tomatoes in the winter are fairly blah. The ones sold on the vine are a little bit better, but still not the same as summer tomatoes. We won't even talk about the $5 red peppers! One of the pluses about this recipe is that it makes use of fresh veggies and fruit available now.

Winter Salad with Black-Eye Peas and Spinach

1 12 oz bag frozen black-eye peas
1/4 cup olive or canola oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (increase to 2 if you like a strong tang)
1 tablespoon mustard
1 good sized garlic clove, minced

fresh baby spinach leaves
1/4 red onion
clementines (if you hate oranges, substitute sliced pears)

Cook the black-eye peas according to the package.

Whisk together olive oil, honey, vinegar, and mustard, and stir in garlic. Pour 1/2 of the dressing over cooled black eye-peas and turn a bit to coat. Refrigerate for four hours or overnight.

Arrange spinach leaves on a platter, or on individual salad plates. Stir the black eye-peas (I think they're best if they come close to room temperature first) and mound in the center of the spinach. Slice the onion into very thin slices and scatter over the spinach. Peel the clementines and arrange on the spinach. Drizzle remaining dressing over the clementines and spinach.