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A Valentine's Day Success!

Andrew McQuiggen

This year for valentine’s day we ran a set menu which was quite a blast to do. I really do enjoy the idea of a set menu, for not only the creativity you get to input into it but also the ease of execution. Most of the time salads are just a thing to eat prior to the main meal but the salad that my manager and myself created for the menu was an unexpected star of the menu. Super simple to make even at home, you may need to grab a few niche ingredients but they all tend to keep in the pantry well so won’t be wasting them. The salad was just a tossed salad of arugula, blue cheese, chopped cooked beets, halved cherry tomatoes, and roasted shelled sunflower seeds topped with a sherry shallot vinaigrette. The dressing truly is the star though and will go well on many types of greens and salads so I thought instead of sharing how to put stuff in a bowl I can make you a salad champion with this simple dressing that will take maybe 15-20 minutes of your time. All you will need is a food processor ideally or a blender to make it other then a knife and cutting board.

1/2 medium shallot (diced fine)

1/2 clove of garlic (chopped)

½ tsp maple syrup

¾ cups sherry vinegar*

1 tsp table salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

¾ cups extra virgin olive oil

*can use ½ cup apple cider vinegar and ¼ cup sherry or fortified wine

All you need to do is add all ingredients but the oil to the blender or processer. Once you get all the ingredients together you slowly add the oil until you create and emulsion and it becomes one. This dressing will hold for over a week in the refrigerator. Just be sure to take it out for 15-20 minutes at room temperature so it can get back to liquid form as it will somewhat solidify in certain fridges. You may also need to shake it up once it gets to room temperature.


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