Suggested Wine Pairing: 2017 Barrel Select Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley AVA
Dressing makes the salad. There is nothing I love more than a fresh, zesty salad that adds that light, refreshing element to even the heartiest meal. When I am back home at my family’s vineyard in Carlton (a teeny wine town in the heart of Oregon’s wine country) there is no shortage of fresh, organic, local produce – perfect makings for any salad! My favorite Caesar Salad Dressing recipe is a delicious one that I spent a summer perfecting, and make all of the time as my standard go-to. In today’s world it sounds tedious and time consuming to make your own salad dressing from scratch, but it is well worth effort. You will be so happy to have this in your repertoire- trust me!
I don’t always follow recipes to a ‘T’ I follow the general structure of the ingredients but leave plenty of room for experimentation, & that’s exactly how this Caesar salad dressing recipe came to be. This recipe is super easy, takes just a few minutes to put together, and tastes good with any type of lettuce so just use what’s fresh and available. But, one of the most important rules when cooking with just a few ingredients is to make sure you’re using only the best. I am very picky about both the mustard I use in this recipe, as well as the black pepper. For mustard, I always use Maille Traditional Dijon. Not only does it give the dressing the best taste, but the texture is absolutely perfect. Re: black pepper, I use the most basic there is – generic finely ground black pepper from the big box store. It might not be the highest quality pepper but I truly believe it’s the secret to the best tasting dressing and makes it such that it pairs perfectly with a glass of Pinot noir. The earthiness of the pepper helps draw out the juicy fruit of the wine, while the salt and acidity of the anchovy paste and lemon helps the wine wine remain smooth and velvety.
My last tip is to whip this dressing up just as you are starting to prepare dinner so it has about 30 minutes to rest before you dress your salad. I hope this recipe becomes a standard in your weeknight meal rotation like it is in my house. It’s a simple luxury and a quick, perfect way to treat yourself on those busy weekdays!