The secret to transforming your favorite soft cheese into a salad dressing is your blender. You can use a regular blender, a fancy high-speed blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec, or a handheld immersion blender. All three get the job done, so the choice is yours.
Tangy kefir is like a pourable, drinkable version of yogurt. It’s praised for containing good-for-you probiotics that aid in healthy digestion. While kefir makes for a delicious beverage all on its own, there are a lot of other smart ways you can put this fermented drink to work in the kitchen.
This fermented dairy drink is similar to yogurt and buttermilk, and makes an ideal stand-in for both. You can pick up a bottle of kefir in the dairy aisle at the grocery store, or you can skip the lines and make your own at home.
It can be used in pretty much any recipe that calls for un-fermented dairy. Use it in place of buttermilk, spoon for spoon, in savory dressings and dips, or as a tart milk substitute in smoothies, lassis, or even frozen yogurt. (Wanna get next level? Make your own!)
That said, I can’t find any substantial nutritional data on kefir. One source claims it has vitamin K, yet [the similar] yogurt has very little vitamin K. I advise caution and frequent testing if kefir is not already part of your consistent diet.
While store-bought dressings and vinaigrettes are surely convenient, most are packed with sugar and sodium; the homemade stuff is quick to mix up, so stick with a recipe the next time you toss a salad. On this morning’s episode of The Kitchen, the cast introduced three bold — and fuss-free — salad dressings that can be ready in mere minutes. Start with Geoffrey Zakarian’s Base Vinaigrette (pictured above). Once you master that simple combination of red wine vinegar, shallots and oil, you can either serve that mixture on its own, like GZ does with arugula, or you can add more ingredients to create a brand-new dressing with rich tastes and textures.
Think salads are too simple to mess up? Think again. Paying attention to the details and knowing the right techniques make all the difference in preparing a salad that’ll impress everyone at the table.
Start making salads like a pro and avoid these 5 common mistakes.
Salad can be a great healthy meal, but if you don’t want the calories and fat that come with a heavy dressing, try using bread as a thickening agent. You’ll get a rich, creamy texture without using eggs or mayo to get it. This is especially useful if you’re out of eggs, have an egg allergy, or are a vegan.
You don’t have to change your dressing recipe to make this work—just use bread where you would a thickener like mayo or egg yolk. As you blend the bread with the rest of the ingredients, the dressing will thicken. You can use this as an opportunity to get rid of bread that is getting stale. Lots of breads do not have egg in them: challah, sourdough, foccacia… Some, like sourdough, will contribute to flavour.
Another alternative would be: ground flax or chia seeds (1TBSP to 3TBSP water per egg needed, mix until thick) than bread. Easier, lighter, good for people avoiding carbs and gluten. Egg substitutes have been covered in the past.