Monday, July 12, 2010
The Joy of New Ingredients Salad
This morning I discovered a new ingredient, and I was inspired. It was like meeting a new and interesting friend. New friends speak their own language. The nuances of their meaning are unfamiliar to me, I am forced to listen with an attentive ear, and watch with an observant eye.
Going into our introduction, all I knew about soy lecithin was that it was an emulsifier, meaning that it would hold together my oils and vinegars keeping them in one beautiful fluid mixture. What I hadn't comprehended was large difference this would translate into for a ginger vinaigrette.
Vinegar and tamari suspended in thousands of tiny droplets of oil would now be delivered individually to each taste bud, dropped like rain onto a leaf. Slowly, the droplet breaks open, and subtle pieces of mint, ginger, and lime pierce the tongue, like snow pierces cheeks.
The flavors amazed me. I stood in my kitchen, thrilled with the creation, not my creation, but nature's. Like a kid with a paint by number piece I wanted to show everyone what I had done. I felt certain that this dressing would bring me glory. For the first time ever, I began to fantasize about bottling my dressings and selling them.
Jesse woke up and walked into the kitchen wearing his flannel pajamas. His hair stood straight up and his eyes were puffy and pillow creased. He towers over the tops of the cabinets, but he has a childlike softness in his voice.
"Good morning Emily"
"Good morning Jesse"
This is my sign that it is late, and time for me to go to work. I put the dressing and the salad into the fridge, then left the scene.
I kept thinking about my dressing company all day. Christina would do all the design, naturally, and handle the business end. I would do the recipes and the advertising. I rushed home, excited to play with soy lecithin some more. When I opened the fridge and took out the dressing, I was a little disheartened by the goo staring back at me. It was a classic case of too much of a good thing placing the cart before the horse.
Ah, well, if you make this dressing at home (and I still highly recommend it), you may want to ease up on the soy lecithin and not store it in the refrigerator.
Ginger Mint Lime Dressing
3/4 Tbsp soy lecithin granules
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 1/2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1/2 Tbsp wheat free tamari (or regular tamari)
1 tsp ume plum vinegar
1 tsp lime juice
1 Tbsp fresh ginger mint
zest from 1 lime
2 tsp water (if dressing is too thick)
2 cups mixed local greens (mustard greens would be good with this salad too)
2 cups chopped fresh pea pods (try to get some really fresh crunchy ones)
1 cup diced purple cabbage
Pulp from 1/2 lime (optional. this will cause the cabbage to bleed, but it really enhances the flavor of the salad)
Christina's vote: "This salad pleased me"