Getting dressed is something that a lot of people learn how to do in the early years of their life. A bit like doing their wees and poos on the toilet, and not eating steamy dog turds from the back lawn… or was that just my kids. The most basic of life skills, yet one that pays us back ten fold. Being dressed allows us to survive in the cold, drip searing hot rib sauce over our big fat belly without the need to administer burn cream and, most importantly, pick up hot chicks because they can’t see our tiny little pee-pee.
And as a child of the professional kitchen (or a red headed step child at best, but I think we’ve previously discussed that) dressing is something that every new student should be taught in the early days, albeit a type of dressing that doesn’t involve clothes. I’m not saying they should rock up to their first shift naked (maybe not unless they are a very attractive young lady), far from it in fact. Im just saying that apprentices in the commercial kitchen need to be taught the importance of dressing a salad. I’m sure plain jane naked lettuce is a delicacy in some carnival circles out there, but not in my kitchen. That shit is nasty!
Another point that should be made clear as the space between the prom queen’s ears; leafy salads get dressed just before serving. Limp soggy lettuce is about as appealing as the old man in the Cher g-string and fish nets at mardi gras. Believe me, I’ve seen them both and I can compare!
Three points to remember;
1. A good salad equals the sum of it’s dressing.
2. A good dressing equals one part acid, three parts oil.
3. A good undressing equals me, three girls, one litre of oil and four tabs of acid.
APPLE CIDER VINAIGRETTE
6 tablespoons whatever mustard you have in the back of the fridge
4 tablespoons castor sugar
200ml apple cider vinegar
400ml vegetable or neutral flavoured oil
200ml extra virgin olive oil
• Combine all ingredients except oils. Whisk together
• Slowly whisk oils into other ingredients to emulsify
• Check seasoning and thin with a splash of water if neccesary
Use to dress just about any leafy salad or slaw. My favourite at the mo’ is mixed leaves with a bit if shallot and lightly pickled cucumber. Kind of poncy I know, but poncy is a word I’m trying to use more in conversation at the moment…