Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Vacation Inspiration

I enjoyed a combination science conference and anniversary celebration trip with my husband last week in the San Diego area.  On our last day, just before we went to the airport, we had lunch at the famous Prado Restaurant in Balboa Park.  I was delighted to be able to get what they call the "Market Salad," teasingly pictured below behind my husband's paella. The salad was a gorgeous creation of plain but beautifully arranged golden and ruby beets, diced tomato, diced avocado, green beans, and fresh-cut sweet corn atop mixed baby greens.

A View from Our Table, Part II

These were dressed very lightly with a dressing that could have been improved--it seemed more straight olive oil than the "cracked coriander vinaigrette" the menu promised.  But it inspired me for my latest batch of nut-based creamy salad dressing.

Creamy Almond-Coriander Dressing

3 oz. lightly toasted almonds
Juice and flesh and a little zest from one lime
1-2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. coriander, freshly-ground and sifted, if possible
1 slice candied ginger (fresh would be fine, but you might want to add a date for a touch of sweetness)
water to make 24 oz.

Combine all in blender and whirl until smooth and creamy.

Verdict: Very Good.  This is a very mild dressing, and I think it could use more ginger and more coriander, to really bring out that exotic flavor. The great thing is that 1/4 cup dressing is just 1/4 oz. nuts.

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I'd love to know what you think of these or if you have suggestions for improvements!