Spring is on its way, and this year it is all about fresh and vibrant salads. At Texas Hill Country Olive Co., salad dressings are among our favorite parts of a meal. They are the perfect opportunity to take a bowl of lettuce leaves and turn it into a gourmet delight. Let’s take a look at how you can incorporate your favorite Texas olive oil into award-winning salad dressings.
Choosing the Right Texas Olive Oil For Your Dressing
When it comes to salads, extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) is usually the best option as it offers you a base to develop. While infused options are delicious, unless you require a specific flavor, sticking to an extra virgin is usually best.
EVOO offers you a way to make your dressings as strong or as mild as you need them to be while complementing the ingredients in your salad.
The Importance of Flavors
Building flavors is one of the most important culinary concepts. You will need to consider each ingredient and its impact on the overall taste. You can begin unpacking each component and choosing the right oil type with that in mind.
- Mediterranean salads packed full of lush greens can handle a robust EVOO; its peppery notes are also perfectly paired with sweet peppers and tomatoes. For these salads, opt for a dressing that will take center stage.
- Salads with a protein base, such as chickpeas, can be paired with a creamy sauce, often made with an oil base. These call for a buttery and lightly flavored EVOO.
- When using roasted vegetables such as broccoli, butternut squash, and beetroot, choose a variety with a medium flavor profile, aromatic notes, and a light peppery flavor such as Hojiblanca.
- Grain-based salads made with nutty grains such as quinoa or lentils are paired perfectly with mildly robust EVOO. Spanish style varieties are often best as they have fruity notes with hints of nutty goodness that add to the already present nutty flavor in the grains.
Textures: Creamy Vs. Vinaigrette
Creating texture with your salad dressing might be something to consider; fresh salads packed with raw vegetables and fruits are often dressed with a light and airy vinaigrette. In contrast, hearty salads can usually handle a slightly heavier creamy dressing. Try these:
- Vinaigrette - Simple, delicious, and light is the consensus on vinaigrettes; these are ideally paired with a medium and fruity EVOO.
- Green Goddess - The secret to amazing salads is hiding a few more ingredients in the dressings; a green goddess dressing is the perfect combination of avocados, green veg, and a hearty, robust oil to add a solid peppery finish.
- Creamy dairy-free dressings - Making delicious creamy dressings is easy when going plant-based. Simply use an immersion blender to combine a light buttery EVOO with vinegar and herbs; slowly blending will combine the ingredients to make a mayonnaise-like dressing.
Have you got any favorite salad dressings? Try using your favorite Texas olive oil, instead of canola next time; you might just love it!