The same fruity-tart-sweet balance which makes Spiker’s Shrubs so refreshing in a spritzer or cocktail also helps to create some delicious and quick vinaigrettes. Add a sprinkle of local hand-harvested flake sea salt for a winning combination.
To help you expand your salad dressing repertoire, below is a master recipe which can be changed up instantly by simply using a different flavor of Spiker’s Shrubs. Some of our favorite fast pairings include:
- Pineapple Basil Shrub vinaigrette with warm wilted spinach, diced apples, and shredded carrots. Make it an entree salad by adding diced tofu or grilled salmon.
- Sour Cherry Plum Shrub vinaigrette with baby spinach, sliced mushrooms, and dried Mission figs. Make it an entree salad by adding sliced warm or cold flank steak.
- Strawberry Rhubarb Shrub vinaigrette with romaine, plums, and pine nuts. Make it an entree salad by adding sliced cold grilled chicken breast.
- Raspberry Bergamot Shrub vinaigrette with shredded raw kale, goat cheese, and sesame oil. (Make this in advance to give the kale time to break down and tenderize). Make it an entree salad by adding sliced warm or cold flank steak.
- Peach Rosemary Shrub vinaigrette with arugula, toasted slivered almonds, warm brie, and blackberries. Make it an entree salad by adding sliced pork tenderloin.
- Ruby Red Grapefruit Shrub vinaigrette with sliced avocado, watermelon chunks, feta cheese, and toasted walnuts. Make it an entree salad by adding chilled poached shrimp.
The basic ratio used here is one part shrub to three parts oil, but depending on the type of salad and the acidity of the ingredients, you might want to add an extra touch of tartness (e.g., a squeeze of lime or lemon, or a tablespoon whatever vinegar intrigues you).
One other note: Please use a flake-style sea salt at serving time rather than putting salt in your dressing in advance. Why? For one thing, if you are making an entree salad with leftover protein, you may very well have cooked this protein with a rub or other seasoning which contained salt. Also, not everyone cares for salt on a salad, since vinegar often enhances the saltiness of a dish. It’s better to let everyone at the table choose how much to add. And finally, the sparkle and extra crunch imparted by the sea salt flakes is just a wonderful touch. A teensy bit is all you need.
S.O.S. — Save our shrub bottles! Our bottles are made from a high grade of commercial glass which is extremely durable. Use the bottles to mix your salad dressing, or find new ways to recycle them. They will last a long time.
Spiker’s Shrub Vinaigrette Master Recipe
|Prep time||5 minutes|
|Meal type||Lunch, Main Dish, Salad, Side Dish|
|Misc||Pre-preparable, Serve Cold|
- 1 tablespoon Spiker's Shrubs (any flavor)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pinch finely ground peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard (optional -- preferably Maille or other premium brand)
- 1 pinch Atlantic Saltworks Flake Finishing Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon your choice of any one fresh herb (minced tarragon, mint, rosemary, basil, etc)
|Step 1||Pour the shrub, olive oil, Dijon mustard, and ground pepper into a small jar or cup and whisk together until the oil and shrub are emulsified. (Maille is my favorite brand of Dijon because it is the most delicately flavored. Many of the generic supermarket brands are too harsh.) Serve immediately if desired or set aside until serving time.|
|Step 2||If desired, add minced garlic to the base mix. If you add garlic, allow the vinaigrette to sit for at least 20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.|
|Step 3||Depending on the flavor of shrub you are using, the addition of any one fresh herb described above adds a welcome but optional layer of flavor. If you choose to add herbs, bruise them in a mortar or use a muddler first to release some of their oils. Allow the vinaigrette to sit at room temperature at least 30 minutes for the flavors to meld.|
|Step 4||At serving time, toss the salad with the vinaigrette and garnish with a sprinkle of Atlantic Saltworks Flake Finishing Sea Salt. Or have a salt cellar at table-side for those who wish to add their own amount of salt to taste.|
|Step 5||Have fun experimenting with different combinations of vinegar (red wine, white balsamic, rice wine) and oil (sesame, vegetable). Coconut oil needs to be warmed up first to get to a melting stage. This can be too heavy for a regular salad, but I love it on kale and protein-based fusion-style salads.|