Let’s talk about salad. Nah just kidding, let’s talk about salad dressing. I do love me a good salad here and there, with crumbled bits of toasted stuff and juicy bursts of caramelised and vine-ripened vegetable shards literally jumping onto the fork with vitamin-spurred enthusiasm. Those salads are fantastic. But really, a salad is nothing without it’s dressing. Sometimes, when I’m less in the mood for a frilly salad, I’ll go for something simpler, dressed in a creamy outfit, something that’ll accompany my meal of carb on carb and turn it into something that resembles a balanced food pyramid if you squint. For once no chia seed and watermelon oil dressing kittens, but a dressing your grandma would make if she were Swiss, lived on top of a mountain and yodelled her chickens awake in the wee hours of the morning. It’s a dressing that would make most picky grandchildren lick their plates clean.
Oma’s Salad Dressing
4 Tbsp mayonnaise (all my Australian friends – the good stuff ok? None of that sweet gunk)
4 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp white balsamic (replace with white wine vinegar, but add a pinch of sugar to balance out the flavours)
3 Tbsp milk
1 shallot, finely chopped
- ½ tsp vegetable stock powder
½ tsp mild curry powder (more would make it too exotic for Oma, and we can’t have that)
a few grinds of black pepper
Whisk the ingredients together, adding the liquids slowly to the mayo so it becomes smooth. Done!
This will keep in the fridge for three or so days, but depending on the amount of salad you’re making, you might need all of it.
If you want a few ideas of how to use it, here are two:
One of the most frequently eaten salads here in Switzerland would be the “Nüsslersalat”, or lambs lettuce. It has a delicate, tear-shaped leaf and is known for its nutty flavour. If you can’t find it, replace with anything else that’s green that you’re in the mood for. All we do is finely dice a few hard-boiled eggs and toss them with the lettuce and the dressing. Serve immediately, because the greens don’t like to stand around for too long.
If you’re wanting to jazz up your carrot salad, thinly slice a head of fennel with half a kilo of carrots, throw some of the springy green fronds in, a few chopped parsley leaves if you have some, and mix with the dressing.