Salad Day byIluminada Fajardo-Castigador, Flickr

Salad Day byIluminada Fajardo-Castigador, Flickr

Begone Winter! The evenings stay bright and your mother is delighted with all the drying she’s getting done on the line. Another big plus of Spring-time is the addition of a fresh new selection of flavor profiles as the seasonal salad stock comes to market. These aromatic dressing recipes will help you welcome Spring to your kitchen.

Honey and Chive Flower Dressing

  • 10 fresh chive flowers
  • 1tbsp blossom honey
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp cold-pressed rapeseed or olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Put all the ingredients for the dressing in a blender and blend to an even texture. Adjust the seasoning with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Peppery and bitter leaves like rocket, romaine and radicchio are particularly good with this dressing.

Rosemary and Rose Dressing

  • 1 tsp very finely chopped rosemary needles
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground cardamom seeds
  • 1 tsp rosewater
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 50ml 100% fruit black grape juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp balsamic apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Put the rosemary in a small bowl with the cardamom. Ass the rosewater and honey, and stir until the honey dissolves. Add the juice, vinegar and oil and season. Allow the dressing to infuse for at least 15 minutes.

Particularly good with figs, fennel, cheeses and grapes.

Hazelnut Bacon Vinaigrette

  • 120g bacon slices
  • 1 tbsp boiling water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp balsamic or regular apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tbsp skinless hazelnuts
  • 3 tsp finely chopped spearmint or peppermint
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tbsp freshly squeezed bergamot or lemon peel and juice
  • A pinch of chilli flakes
  • 3 tbsp cold-pressed hazelnut or peanut oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Fry the bacon very crisp on a pan. Once ready, place the bacon on a cutting board. Put the boiling water in the pan, de-glaze and pour into the bowl.
Chop the bacon very finely and put it into the bowl also. Stir in the vinegar, garlic, bergamot peel and juice.
Toast the hazelnuts in a dry pan for a few minutes then chop them finely. Add them to the bowl with the chilli flakes and oil. Stir well and season to taste.

Tastes good with pears, parsips, soft cheeses and jerusalem artichokes.