Kitchen Bootcamp 3: Salad and dressing

This month’s edition of Kitchen Bootcamp called for us to investigate salads and dressings.  I was really excited about this as one of my goals this summer had been to work on some different dressings.  Unfortunately, as seems to often be the case chez moi, life kinda sorta got in the way and I found myself working on my tasks very close to departing for vacation. So I hereby present to you my (Everything but the) Kitchen (sink) Bootcamp entries for this round!

You know what it’s like when you are leaving on a trip, right? You have to be super creative to use us all the food in the house so that you don’t have to throw any out.  I found myself with cucumbers and sour cream. Which was perfect because right there in Chapter 30, page 952 of The Professional Chef is a Classic Polish Cucumber Salad.

Even though this did not involve any real skill, it was great because it reminded me what a wonderful salad dressing cam be made with only  a few ingredients.  As I didn’t have everything on hand, and my cucumbers seemed to be fairly juicy, I changed the recipe slightly, omitting the lemon juice in favour of lemon zest.

This was a great salad on a hot night and just goes to show you what you can do, even with a fridge full of odd ingredients!

Next up? I had planned on something with a Japanese twist, and had even asked Rachael for some recipes since, you know, she’s the queen of all things Japanese!)  Unfortunately, the refrigerator cleanout took precedence over creativity and I needed to use up some sad looking ginger and a lemon.  I hunted around and found this recipe that looked like it might taste good on my green beans and sugar snap peas, also on their way out.  Again, I adapted based on what I had on hand.

I served this over some fresh sugar snap peas to start…

And then later on I served it over pan fried vegetable dumplings (also needing to be eaten up!) as a warm dressing:

This was perfect, nice and light so not heavy and overpowering.  I could see this being used as a dipping sauce also…

A fabulous challenge Jen – thanks so much! Not only did I get to try two new dressings but you also helped me clean out my fridge before my vacation!  Looking forward to next month already!

27 thoughts on “Kitchen Bootcamp 3: Salad and dressing”

  1. That ginger sesame dressing sounds so flavorful, with a really nice balance of sweet, salty, and zippy (the ginger, that is).

  2. oh, thank you for these! one of my summer kitchen goals was very similar – to find a few “go-to” dressing/vinaigrette recipes that i could whip up for easy and quick salads to go with the abundant CSA produce we have this time of year. i’ve been a bit lackadaisical about it lately, so i was so glad to see these new recipes. and that cucumber and sour cream salad? reminds me of childhood – it was one of my favorites, made by both my mom and my grandma. 🙂

  3. I love the sour cream dressing on the cucumbers! I cannot wait to try this one! I am so wrapped in vinaigrette dressings that I didn’t even think of a creamy one but I have a surplus of sour cream and a great idea thanks to you! (every time we have gone to the store the last week and a half I’ve been convinced we are out of sour cream, I’m pretty sure I have a gallon stock piled right now!)

  4. I love the idea of lemon-ginger dressing, definitely will try this. Those veggie dumplings look amazing 🙂

  5. I am glad there is bootcamp on salad dressing, I started making my own salad dressing about a 2 years ago and never have looked back. I like this one with sour cream. I have seen something similar type with yogurt, called raita. Have you heard or tried it?

  6. I love the LaMaison Lemon Ginger Sesame Dressing – got my first bottle at Costco two summers ago – but they decided to not bring that one in this year and I was heartbroken – they are big bottles so have a smidge left but then I was going to be out of luck – so glad to find this in search and look forward to more great recipes – going to try the sour cream one as well!

    Thanks so much


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