Two things inspired this dressing – one, a delicious version of it I got to try last weekend at one of our favorite restaurants in New Paltz, NY, the Mountain Brauhaus. I’d assumed it’d be more like a dip for the veggies in my salad (I requested it on the side as usual) but for lack of a better visual, it was actually runny. Plus, the flavor was perfect, and when a friend tried hers and said, I taste dill and oregano, I thought, I’m gonna make this.
The other thing that inspired this dressing was my desire to eat radishes – they are coming into full season now and more irresistible varieties are available each week – with something other than the traditional salt and butter treatment. (I actually read in one magazine a suggestion to try radishes with salt, peanut butter and butter, which I may do out of sheer curiosity.)
What I learned while experimenting with this herby dressing is that the best way to emulsify is to use a food container with a lid. You simply add the ingredients, put on the lid, and vigorously shake. A fine whisk is typically a good emulsifying tool, but here the fresh herbs get stuck in the teeth of the whisk, thereby thickening the wires and reducing the whisk’s efficacy. (With salad dressing, to emulsify is to mix it to the point where the oil and vinegar don’t separate. To accomplish emulsification, the dressing must be stirred very vigorously with a ‘fine tooth’ whisk or shaken in a covered container.) I also happen to generally like the cover and shake method because it uses just one mixing vessel that serves the dual purpose of storage afterwards, and there and no stirring implement added to the clean up.
Radish & Greens Salad with Buttermilk Herb Dressing
Hands-On Time: 10-12 minutes
- 1 Cup Arugula
- 3 Cups Pea Shoots or other small greens
- 1 Bunch Radishes, thinly sliced
- Handful fresh Dill, stemmed but not chopped
- 1/4 Cup Buttermilk
- 2 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
- Generous Pinch Salt
- 1/4 Tsp Pepper
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/4 Cup Freshly Chopped Dill
- 1 Tsp Finely Chopped Oregano
- Add buttermilk, vinegar, salt and pepper to the food container. Cover, and shake to incorporate.
- Then add dill, oregano and olive oil, cover and shake vigorously to emulsify
Pile salad ingredients into bowl, drizzle on dressing and toss to coat.