Inspiration

Eleanor Ozich shares her three salad dressings for summer

Turn those fresh and crisp greens from a side dish into a star attraction with these saucy suggestions

Summer brings an abundance of fresh produce, and the best way to highlight summer salads is with a repertoire of incredible salad dressings. Easy to make, homemade dressings are infinitely more delicious than those bought from the store. Creamy, tangy, zippy and fresh, here are three adaptable recipes that are crazy-simple to make and can be enjoyed in various ways.

Tahini, lime & garlic dressing
This dressing starts with garlic for its delicious, pungent paste, then in goes a decent dollop of tahini, some lime juice, a splash of maple syrup or honey and a drizzle of lovely olive oil. Whisk to emulsify, then season to your heart’s content. It’s brilliant with roasted vegetables or perhaps spooned over quinoa or rice salad.

INGREDIENTS
1 garlic clove, finely grated
¼ cup tahini
Juice of 1 lime
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp maple syrup or honey
½ tsp sea salt
Water, to blend

1 Put the ingredients in a small bowl, then add the water, a little at a time, stirring until it reaches the right consistency.
2 Store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to a week.

 

Crushed herb sauce
This flavour-filled sauce is brilliant for using up any fresh herbs you have lying around. Use it to marinate fish or chicken, toss through pasta, add to a toasted sandwich, stir it into natural yoghurt, or dollop into soup for a final punch of flavour. Once you start whipping up this super-easy herb sauce, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it,

INGREDIENTS
1 cup fresh herbs (see notes)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 shallots or 2 cloves of garlic
2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 Add all ingredients to a blender, and pulse until you get a pesto-like consistency.
2 Store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to a week.

Notes Any soft herbs can be used here – my summer favourites are basil, Italian parsley, chives and mint; Like garlic? Add a clove or two. Want the sauce to be a little looser? Add an extra drizzle of olive oil. Keen on citrus? Add the zest of a lemon. Once you start tinkering around, you’ll find the flavour and texture profile that you love the most. Have fun with different variations.

Luscious tofu aioli
If there’s one sauce to help you sail through beach picnics and sunshine dinners, it’s a rich, delicious aioli. Something I’ve come up with recently is this luxuriously creamy variation made with tofu. You can easily jazz it up by adding some smoked paprika, fresh herbs, cumin or chilli.

INGREDIENTS
300g firm tofu
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 fat garlic clove
Water, to blend

1 Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. You might need to add a slow trickle of water until it reaches the right consistency.
2 Season generously with sea salt and cracked pepper. Seriously, the seasoning will make or break this aioli.
3 Store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to a week.

12 unique summer flavour pairings
It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut and continue reaching for the same ingredients, time and time again. Here are some fresh and unique flavour combinations that will surprise and delight – let them inspire you to whip up something new.
· Strawberry, basil and honey
· Spinach, blueberry and feta
· Garlic, chives and butter
· Lemon, basil and capers
· Coconut, pineapple and mint
· Capsicum, capers and smoked paprika
· Avocado, peas and chives
· Orange, thyme and olives
· Stone fruit, cinnamon and maple syrup
· Plum, walnut and orange
· Raspberry, chocolate and pistachio
· Eggplant, oregano and ricotta

Words and photography by: Eleanor Ozich.

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