Staying in is our new reality and as we work as a nation to curb the spread of Coronavirus, silver linings are springing up in homes across the country. Some families are using the time to complete all those DIY jobs that have been mounting up, some are trying to home-school kids, others are simply spending quality time with family and many are learning new skills or honing long lost talents, including cooking.
As we try to adapt to the challenge of not going to the shops, struggling to get supermarket delivery slots and making do without our usual luxuries, many of us are reaching to the back of the cupboard to see what’s lurking and what can be used to spice up the staples.
Spring is in the air and although it may not be the season we imagined, fresh produce is still growing and we are entering our beloved salad season. One thing there is no shortage of is a bag of leaves, a pack of juicy tomatoes and a tangy cucumber. But how can we take our salads to new heights? Dressings of course. As our supermarkets are working on the frontline to feed a nation in crisis, dressings are not considered essential items and many ranges have been limited. This means we have to call on our very own skills, imagination and a little help from Quattro!
And for the growing vegan population amongst us, are plant-based dressings an option? Of course! All you need is some olive oil for the base, a little bit of seasoning and some extra special ingredients for a kick.
Here are some of our favourite vegan dressings to make your salad special.
- Classic balsamic – An all-time favourite, this well-loved dressing is a dark, concentrated, intensely flavoured Italian product made from freshly crushed grape juice with all the skins, seeds and stems. If you’re buying it from a shop, make sure it’s animal-free. The more expensive brands are usually vegan.
- French dressing – This classic combo of French mustard, garlic, vegan balsamic vinegar, cider vinegar, sunflower oil and rapeseed oil has been delighting salad lovers for generations.
- Lemon vinaigrette – Made from finely grated lemon zest, freshly squeezed lemon juice, a pinch of brown cane sugar, Dijon mustard (check for the Vegan sign on the label – some are not), extra-virgin olive oil and seasoning, this zesty dressing makes every meal taste like summer.
- Caesar dressing – Creamy and delicious, made from garlic, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce and mayonnaise.
- Lime and chilli – Grind garlic with a sprinkle of salt in a mortar, add chillies then grind them to a coarse paste, adding brown cane sugar and lime juice with some aromatic kaffir lime leaves. Heaven on a plate!
What better way to entertain the troops during lockdown than a family bonding session in the kitchen? Train little hands to make these dressings and you will inspire them to eat tasty salads and to develop a long-lasting love of helping in the kitchen – fingers crossed!