In the summertime, eating a salad before dinner is a necessity. First of all, it’s just too hot to stand over a stove, even to sauté a pan of zucchini. Secondly, we get so much lettuce and kale from our weekly CSA that we have to keep eating salad just to make room in our refrigerator for milk.
The only way I can get away with serving my husband salad every night, is to change up the dressings. Lately, I’ve been making my mother-in-law, Frances’, signature curry salad dressing. When she moved from her home of 50 years to a condo this spring, she generously passed her old kitchen gear, including her recipe box, to me. In the box I found the handwritten card for this tangy dressing.
The original recipe came from one of her old neighbors in Toronto's Humber Valley Village neighborhood. I adapted the recipe slightly, adding turmeric and swapping in maple syrup for white sugar. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties—something athletes can always use—and maple syrup adds flavor, not just sweetness to the dressing.
Frances always has a jar of this salad dressing in her refrigerator. She serves it on a simple green salad, usually just lettuce portioned in individual salad bowls, with dinner. Every time I eat at Frances’ table I promise myself I’ll keep a jar of this salad dressing in the fridge. I imagine myself dipping string beans and small tomatoes in it as a light midday snack. It’s too tasty to reserve for just dinner. —Bec
Maple Curry Salad Dressing
Makes about 1/3 cup
3 tablespoons sunflower oil (or another mild oil, other than olive oil)
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (preferably with seeds)
1 tablespoon good quality maple syrup (like Crown Maple Syrup)
1 teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon coriander
Put all ingredients except oil in a jar and give it a few firm shakes. Add the oil and shake some more.