Orange Vinaigrette

For a short time during my London years, I stayed with a friend in Hertfordshire. It was a beautiful old farm which had been converted into a few homes, centred around a courtyard. If you drove through a cattle grid, then a beautiful field filled with cows surrounded by homes, followed by another cattle grid, you would end up in her nearest town. It was in this town where her friend lived.

She was an elegant, mature, French woman and she was amazing with food. I recall how effortlessly she pulled together a meal on a whim. There seemed to be no effort on her part, just natural ability. I recall how one day she pulled together a salad and a vinaigrette which tasted amazing. Just like that – no books, no references, just pulled it together.

I was most envious in those days, but I suppose with experience and constant cooking this happens over time as well. I know I have certainly improved my culinary skills – and continue to do so. (Pastry course completed and Fish course coming up in November!) One of those areas of improvement I am working on is salad dressings. I eat a lot of salad and really don’t like to buy a dressing if I can avoid it. I love it when a salad dressing makes me want to mop up the leftover liquid with some bread. That is how it should be! This dressing does just that for me. In fact, I could actually just have spoonfuls of the stuff.

This is a light and refreshing dressing when used on a simple salad of lettuce, tomatoes and avocado, but it is even better when used over steamed or grilled asparagus! I love serving this for a barbecue, as a lovely alternative to an ordinary salad, and a great food to nibble whilst you wait for your main to cook.

Orange-Dressing

Makes 125 ml

  • 1 Garlic Clove, crushed
  • 20g (2 Tbsp) Flat-leaf Parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Cider Vinegar
  • juice and zest of a large Orange, 4 Tbsp/60 ml of juice

Place garlic, parsley, honey, salt & pepper along with the olive oil into a blender. Blend, then slowly add the vinegar and orange juice with the blender running to incorporate them. Finally, add the zest and pulse to mix through.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

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