Saturday, April 10, 2010

Mache Salad with Cilantro Ginger Vinaigrette

Awhile back, I bought a cookbook that was completely dedicated to salad dressings. I had good intentions for that book, I really did. I was probably thinking that I was going to make every salad dressing and eat a lot of salad, but I got sidetracked somewhere along the way. It's hard to say. When it comes to food and cookbooks, I tend to be a little noncommittal.

Hungry for salad, I located that salad dressing cookbook, dusted it off and got creative. I had some Mache, or Lamb's Lettuce, in the refrigerator as well as a bunch of cilantro, a good-sized chunk of ginger, and some fresh-squeezed lime juice left over from my lime pudding cakes. I spotted this recipe for Cilantro Ginger Vinaigrette and put all of those leftover ingredients to good use in this recipe for salad dressing.

Cilantro Ginger Vinaigrette
Adapted from Salad Dressings for every Occasion by Nathan Hyam
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. sesame oil (I would use half of this amount)
3/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
3 Tbsp. lime juice
2 Teaspoons liquid honey
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a small bowl, whisk all the ingredients together. This can be made up to 2 hours in advance. Refrigerate until needed.

Notes/Results: I really liked the dressing, but felt the sesame oil was a little overpowering. I wasn't really able to taste the cilantro, the lime juice or the honey. Next time, I think I might reduce the sesame oil down from 1 tablespoon to 1 teaspoon. I really enjoyed the dressing, but felt like they should have named it Sesame Vinaigrette instead of Cilantro Ginger Vinaigrette since the focus was more on sesame and less on the cilantro or ginger. I made a salad using the Mache, thinly sliced chicken, grated carrot and crunchy peanuts. It made a very satisfying lunch with lots of flavor and texture.

I am submitting this Mache Salad with Cilantro Ginger Vinaigrette to my friend Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper Sundays roundup. Every Sunday, Deb hosts a roundup of delicious soups, sammies, and salads. Head on over there for some tasty inspiration.

Making my own salad dressing isn't something that I do too often, but I think that is going to change. I really enjoyed picking a salad dressing and customizing the salad fixings to go with the dressing. Salads have so much potential, don't you think?


  1. I don't think it's that you're noncommittal. I think it's that there are just too many things to cook and too little time! I like the sound of the dressing as it was intended...cilantro and ginger make a great flavor combo!

  2. i feel the same way. i have SO many cookbooks, some of which haven't even been opened! someday i'm going to have to just have a big cooking fest!

    this looks so good! i love cilantro! if they made a cilantro perfume, i would wear it, lol! salads are one of my faves, especially for lunch.

  3. Oh Kim, this salad looks so flavorful and delicious. I love the idea of adding cilantro and ginger to the salad. Yum!

  4. Homemade salad dressing is so much better than store bought and so much less expensive!

  5. The colors here just grab the eye. Your salad looks beautiful and your dressing sounds delicious, Kim. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  6. Absolutely - salad greens are a great canvas and being able to dress it up in so many shapes and forms is fun! This looks wonderful and I am a fan of homemade dressings.

  7. great salad i need to eat more of them naughty dietitian !

  8. I'd say that's a really great use for leftovers!

  9. Daaaaaahling, I have cookbooks I've never even made recipes from. Thats one of the things I admire about you, you really seem to exhaust yours :)
    Hope you have a great weekend.
    *kisses* HH

  10. Kim, I always make my own dressing. That way I know what's in it, and I can match the herbs and spices to whatever else I'm serving. One trick I learned from a friend here in Belgium: Make the dressing in the bottom of the salad bowl and then build the salad on top. That way you can keep it for a long time, and just toss it before you're ready to eat. Perfect if you're taking a salad to a potluck--no more wilted salads!

    This dressing looks wonderful. I love ginger and cilantro.

  11. Getting the dressing right is the hardest part about making salads. For me it's either too vinegary or too sweet. I love this unique combination of ingredients and can't wait to try it soon (with half the sesame oil).

  12. I will play with this dressing. I do make vinaigrettes all the time - even if I live in a ranch dressing house. And I adore mache and buy tubs of it every week. I like the touch of sweetness in this.

  13. Sesame oil is a flavor bully. I love the flavor but almost always cut it with some other vegetable oil to mellow it out.

    I made a dressing with pomegranate vinegar last night and wasn't crazy about it.

  14. I am bookmarking this recipe because it looks delish. I agree - that looks like an awful lot of sesame oil to me. I've never heard of mache before!

  15. I love mache, available in winter in our Paris markets. Here it is often presented with beetroot. Your presentation looks delicious!

  16. I have cookbooks that I bought 25 years ago and I've not made one recipe from them. There's just too many things I want to try and I can't seem to find the time for my own library of cookbooks!

  17. Looks delicious--love the sound of that dressing! Thanks for sending it along to Souper Sundays.

    I share your cookbook issues. I am slowing trying to work through mine by cooking and posting at least one recipe from each book I own. The problem--I keep buying more! ;-)

  18. I love the sound of the entire salad - the Mache, chicken and peanuts. How totally delicious! I always make my own dressings - much simpler - it would be nice to make something a little more flavor rich like this. An entire book devoted to salad dressings is just what I need.


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