Friday, February 26, 2010

Thai Salad Dressing

I don't have a picture for you today. I just have a recipe, a very simple recipe, for an easy and yummy salad dressing . It's so good, you'll drink it up if there's any left in the bowl after you finish swirling your last lettuce leaf around in the dregs.

Maybe all you have is lettuce in the fridge, because it's Thursday night and you're in a hurry to watch Grey's Anatomy and running out of food. Maybe you throw a can of soup into a pot, but it's all too unsatisfying and unhealthy and you pull that slightly wilted head of romaine out of the fridge and motivate yourself to wash it and tear it up. Then it goes into a salad spinner or patted down with a towel and finally you are staring at a pile of green in a big bowl. And that's even more pathetic than the canned soup.

Maybe you have a bottle of fish sauce in the fridge because you made a Thai curry two months ago, and a lime because you were going to make guacamole before the avocado turned mushy and brown, except it turned mushy and brown the day after you bought it. So you mix up some fish sauce, lime juice, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, sugar, and whisk in some vegetable oil. Toss that limp, clean lettuce with your dressing to wake it up a little, and what do you know, there are some ruddy looking radishes rolling around in the crisper, so you add some thin slices of radish on top for color and bite. A little salt and pepper and your meal just became something special. And it's nice to have something special during a mundane Thursday night meal.

Thai Salad Dressing (Joy of Cooking, for the Thai Beef Salad, but it's good on any light salad)
Yields 1 cup dressing

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
red pepper flakes to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

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