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Sambuca Salad

February 15, 2015

I was explaining to Teresa the other day that so many of the things I make tend to match a limited set of flavour profiles. For instance, most of the vinaigrettes I make tend to taste like this one, because I’m so fond of using oyster sauce as an emulsifier.

Teresa told me she didn’t mind this about my cooking at all, but I told her I was going to try to break out of the mould this year, and try things from time to time that use flavours, techniques or something else I’m not used to. To try to surprise her and myself, and expand my culinary horizons at the same time.

Now having said all that, there’s nothing particularly radical about this salad. But I almost never make a creamy dressing. Once I decided to make one of those, my next decision was that it should use the liqueur Sambuca–it has an anise flavour, like Ouzo, they set it on fire in bars and get people to drink it.

Teresa was really, really pleased with the result–so much so that she asked for the same thing the next night. One idea she had, inspired by what they do at Shaw’s, is that I should try to incorporate lavender somehow. She says in the dressing. I think fresh lavender in the salad might be nice. I will get some and try both ways.

I used Parmesan cheese, but would rather have had blue cheese myself. Teresa will be happy to stick with Parma.

Sambuca Salad 1

Sambuca Salad

For the dressing:
1/2 cup SambucaSambuca
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white wine or champagne vinegar
4 garlic cloves, minced (sounds like a lot doesn’t it? Maybe 3?)
juice and zest of about 2/3 lemon
salt & pepper
1/2 cup sour cream

For each serving of salad:
a generous handful of greens
a bit of chopped fennel
some green grapes, halved
toasted walnuts (toss them in a dry pan over medium heat until they brown)
4-5 shavings of Parmesan cheese

1. Set the Sambuca in a small saucepan over medium heat at a very light simmer until the volume has reduced by about half (will take only minutes). Remove from heat, it will continue to thicken and turn syrupy as it sits.

2. Whisk the oil and vinegar together fairly vigorously so it starts to thicken. Add the Sambuca and lemon (ed: and garlic, I forgot that) and whisk some more. Finally whisk in the salt, pepper and sour cream. Sit in the fridge, cover and let it set for at least 15 minutes. After that, just assemble your salads and serve.

NOTE: It being Valentine’s Day we just happened to enjoy a bottle of bubbly with this, and it went together remarkably.

Sambuca Salad 3

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From → Food, Recipes

One Comment
  1. Looks delicious!

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