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Pasta Salad with Blue Cheese, Fruit, Nuts, and Shrub Vinaigrette

Did you know that vinegar helps prevent pasta from sticking together? Just a splash — 1/2 tsp or so — in your cooking water will do the trick. This is such a great concept that we tried it with our shrubs and it worked great…especially with pasta salad. Continue reading Pasta Salad with Blue Cheese, Fruit, Nuts, and Shrub Vinaigrette

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Spiker’s Shrub Vinaigrette Master Recipe

1-IMG_1479The 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.


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