In honor of the return of iceberg lettuce, I came up with a salad dressing that would add a bite to counterbalance the cool crispness of the lettuce.
Then I added horseradish.
I’m not a big fan of iceberg lettuce, but allow me to justify that. It was the only lettuce in the house growing up, so I got tired of the monotony. Now with several varieties available year round, including Romaine, red leaf, green leaf, Bibb and mesclun baby leaf mix, iceberg can happily join its brethren in the rotation.
Iceberg lettuce is almost all texture, a crispy crunch that hold the icy chill of the refrigerator well. To counter the almost dampening nature of iceberg lettuce in a salad, I looked for the components of a dressing that would cut through the cool to give me a hot punchy taste.
My go-to ingredients for salad dressing is mustard for heat. So I started there. I added vinegar and water, then some 5% white cheese to give it body as well as lend its own subtle tang to the dressing. I added the oil, and then started reaching for lemon juice. And I stopped. It needed something hot, not sour.
There are some things that lurk in a refrigerator, some unitasker (thanks, Alton) foods that don’t go with anything else. Red horseradish is one of those things. It’s owned entirely by gefilte fish, to be adorned with said horseradish for the compulsory Shabbat appetizer. Yes, there are other uses for horseradish, lamb for instance, but not the red horseradish.
I grabbed it.
To keep things simple, everything was added in equal portions, which worked out quite nicely. When I added the horseradish, the dressing, as expected, turned pink. Riotously pink. Well no, riotously fuschia. ‘Kay…
Well, it worked perfectly. The cheese muted the heat just enough so the flavors peaked. It was smooth and easily poured, but hung onto the vegetables without the oiliness that mayonnaise sometimes does, again thanks to the cheese. The heat is easily tuned by reducing either the mustard or the horseradish. But who would want to?
Full disclosure: I have had Max & Mina’s horseradish ice cream. And I also know that horseradish goes well with corn.
The heat can be tempered by reducing the amount of mustard and/or horseradish used.
- Ready Time : 0 min
- 2 parts 5% soft cheese
- 2 parts rice wine vinegar
- 2 parts prepared horseradish
- 2 parts dijon mustard
- 2 parts water
- 1 part olive oil
1) Mix ingredients thoroughly. Pour on salad.