Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that we may receive a small commission if you choose to purchase something from a link we post (including links to amazon.com because we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.) Don’t worry, it won’t. It costs you nothing. Well, this is the last episode of the salad dressing series. I decided to focus this “part three” on fruit-based salad dressings. These are great with a bit of spicy and salty notes to balance out the sweet undertones of spice. You should pay attention to the ingredients that you decide to add to the salad. Remember, the goal is to create a balance in flavor. I’ve shared some of the ingredients I put together with them, but I feel confident creating your own salads based on the equilibrium concepts we discussed in the previous prefixes. Enjoy your time in the kitchen and remember the tasting as you go; Balance the portion (the sauce) as well as the whole (the ingredients of the salad with the sauce). Fruit-based salad dressings are naturally sweet and that’s exactly why we love them. I took the 2:1 ratio of vinegar and turned it on its head. The ratio now reads Fruit Paste 2: 1 Oil + Water. Fruit-based marinades need a little help in only small ways: a little sugar or honey to enhance the flavor of your produce if not in season. A little water to create the consistency you’re looking for; Thin versus thick. A little oil to give it a nice sheen and rounded flavour. Finally, flavor enhancers from the pantry and refrigerator to add interest and balance to the sauce. In some cases, you can grab vinegar to lighten the flavor, add chili, or add herbs for a lively touch. I’ve played around in my kitchen to come up with these and I hope you’ll do the same. Have fun! Fruit base: ½ cup fruit puree or juice 1 tablespoon water or more to the consistency of puree 1 tablespoon oil (neutral oil is best) 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon sugar (optional – depends on the sweetness of the fruit) 1 teaspoon Vinegar (optional if sauce needs to be lightened) 1 teaspoon salt Pinch of black pepper flavor enhancers of your choice Vanilla Roasted Pear with Raspberry-Orange Dressing to make the sauce 2/3 cup 1/3 cup Tangelo juice (orange juice is great too) 3 oz. Raspberries (frozen) – about 1/3 cup 1/ tablespoon vanilla sugar 1 tablespoon rice vinegar 1 teaspoon salt Pinch of black pepper 1 tablespoon oil Directions In a blender, blend all ingredients, adding oil last. Taste as you go, it should be sweet and bright. For a salad of 2 large red Anjou pears, unpeeled – quartered – cored – sliced 3 cups arugula or spring green mix 2 oz. Manchego or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, cut into large pieces 1/3 cup chopped and toasted almonds 1 tablespoon melted butter 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon Directions Preheat oven to 400°F. In a bowl, mix the melted butter, pear slices, cinnamon, and sugar. Roast on a tray until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Prepare the remaining ingredients. Once the pears are out of the oven, serve them alongside the raspberry-tangelo sauce. Notes: This salad plays with heat (warm pear with cinnamon versus sweet raspberry sauce) and sweet (pear, chutney) versus bitter and savory (rocca and manchego cheese). Strawberry and Tangelo Caprese Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette for Dressing Makes 1 6 oz. Frozen strawberries, about 2/3 cup 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (a thick balsamic dough is preferable) ¼ cup water 1 tablespoon oil ½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon black pepper Directions In a blender, blend all ingredients, adding oil last. Taste as you go, it should be sweet strawberries with a rich undertone of old-fashioned balsamic (quality of balsamic vinegar is important here, so splurge on the good stuff; you’ll be glad you did). Use the remaining sauce as a syrup for pancakes, sprinkle it over ice cream or as a pickle for pork and chicken. To serve salad 2 2 tangelo oranges – any sour oranges, peeled and sliced horizontally (around the equator) 4 large strawberries, sliced horizontally 6 slices of good quality mozzarella 6-8 fresh basil leaves 1/4 cup pistachios Remove the peel and small cubes How to use Put a layer of oranges, strawberries, mozzarella and basil alternately on a serving plate and sprinkle pistachios on top. Sprinkle the bandage along the perimeter. Notes: Basil is essential to add relief from the sweetness in this salad. Pistachios add a nice crunchy texture to smooth mozzarella cheese. (It might be best to slice the orange – to make it easier to eat. I loved slicing it in half to mimic a tomato slice, but I have to admit it takes a little bit of maneuvering with a knife to eat it easily.) Quinoa, Pineapple, and Rosemary Salad for Salad Dressing Makes about ½ cup cup pineapple juice 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar 2 tablespoons water 1 rosemary sprig 1 tablespoon oil Directions Bring pineapple, water, sugar and rosemary to a saucepan. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat and leave rosemary for 20 minutes. Then take out the rosemary, and blend the pineapple and oil mixture into a blender. Give it a quick mix and set aside. To make 4 cups 2 cups quinoa 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into small pieces 1 red onion, sliced and diced 14 cups pistachios, peeled and diced small 1-15 ounces can pineapple, sliced or cut 1 tablespoon brown sugar 2 sprigs rosemary , finely chopped leaves 2 teaspoons oil Salt and pepper to taste Directions Preheat oven to 400°F. In a bowl, combine sweet potatoes, oil, a pinch of salt and rosemary leaves. Roast on a baking tray for 20 minutes or until cooked through. Bring 3 1/2 cups of water to a boil and add the quinoa. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low for 15-20 minutes. The quinoa will be slightly undercooked, remove from heat and toss with a fork and add 1/2 cup of the pineapple rosemary sauce. Recover to allow the quinoa to absorb the liquid for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a skillet with a touch of butter, sprinkle pineapple slices with brown sugar and fry until edges are crispy and golden. If you have time, toast the pistachios briefly, too. Pull it together with rosemary-sweet potatoes, red onions, pistachios, and sweetened pineapple on a bed of quinoa (if any sauce remains, sprinkle on top). This would be great served alongside grilled pork chops. The sauce will also be delicious as a cold drink served with ice in summer. Notes: The sauce is a sweet, warm sauce with a hint of rosemary for balance. In salads, red onions are essential to add the needed comfort of fried pineapple being very sweet and dominating the salad. Pistachios add a little texture and rosemary to potatoes add a savory and delicious ingredient. Roasted Scallops with Jalapeno Mango Vinegar for Salad Dressing Makes 1 cup 6 ounces frozen mango, thawed 1 small jalapeno, coarsely cubed ¼ cup water 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar ½ tablespoon honey 3 mint leaves 1 tablespoon coriander leaves 1 tablespoon oil Pinch of salt Directions and pepper In a blender, blend all ingredients, adding oil last. Taste as you go, it should be refreshingly sweet with a warm heat near the end. Serve 4 salads 2 cups of green cabbage, thinly sliced, ¼ cup of purple cabbage, thinly sliced, 3 pieces of colored bell pepper, 3 pieces of green onions, finely diced, and 3 pieces of green onions, diced finely chopped, ½ cup sliced almonds, fresh cilantro sprigs, and few cubes, 4 large Jamaican scallops make 3/4 cup-2 tbsp. 2 tablespoons smoked paprika. Coriander 2 tbsp. 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Spices ¼ cup -1 tsp. garlic powder 1 tsp. Onion powder 1 tsp. Salt 1 tsp. Ground ginger ¼ tsp. All nutmeg, cinnamon, black pepper, and cayenne pepper mix together and store in your pantry for 3 months. Directions Mix the salad ingredients in a bowl. Rinse the scallops and pat dry. Roll sides and lay on top, and set aside. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a frying pan over high heat, and when the oil is smoking a little, add the scallops, stirring the scallops on each side for 1-2 minutes (depending on their size). You are looking for a dark golden burnt while the center is still translucent. Add the cabbage to the pan for 1-2 minutes to soften the cabbage a little. Serve the cabbage salad alongside grilled scallops with a little jalapeno dressing. Or place in a removable cookie cutter ring, for the effect I did in the photo, topped with scallops and mango jalapenos drip around the plate. This would also be great with shrimp, pork, or chicken. Notes: The Jamaican jerk rub adds gentle heat to the scallops, and the jalapeno, mint, and cilantro balance between sweet mango and slightly melted claw is a soft crunch that contrasts with the soft scallops. Meyer’s Lemon Pomegranate Bean Salad with feta and kumquat for salad dressing Makes ½ cup ½ cup pomegranate juice 2 Meyer lemons, juice and peel – about ½ cup (regular lemon works too but adjust with a little sugar to balance) 1 tablespoon water ½ tablespoon vanilla sugar 1 tablespoon teaspoon ground cumin teaspoon ground coriander teaspoon salt pinch of pepper 1 tablespoon oil Direction method – boil pomegranate, lemon juice, water, sugar and spices. Boil for 3 minutes, then remove from heat and leave for 20 minutes. In a blender, combine the oil with the pomegranate mixture. Sit aside. To make the salad, make about 6 cups of 1 – 15 ounces of black beans 1 – 15 ounces of white beans 1 – 15 ounces of black-eyed peas 1 cup of finely chopped red onion ½ cup of small cucumbers 1 cup of finely chopped kumquats 1 cup of pomegranate seeds -2 jalapeno peppers, diced small bell peppers (depends on the temperature you want in the salad) 2 chopped avocados ½ cup crumbled feta cheese 6 sprigs fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon black pepper Directions Drain and rinse canned beans. Sit aside. Chop the rest of the ingredients, cut into strips and cut into cubes. Mix it with the beans in a large bowl. Sprinkle the pomegranate dressing on top – drizzle gently and use only the amount needed to flavor the salad, and use the leftover dressing as a marinade for the chicken (about ½ cup left). Sprinkle feta cheese and fresh coriander on top and serve. Notes: The sweetness of the sauce is balanced by the slightly bitter orange rind, the pungency of the red onion and the saltiness of the feta. Soft grains are balanced by crunchy cucumber, red onion and pomegranate seeds. Additional Notes: I’ve used vanilla sugar in many of these recipes, obviously regular sugar or honey would be a good substitute, but there’s just something about the warm ingredients the vanilla adds to the sugar that deepens and broadens the flavor of the marinade. I’ve included a recipe on how to make vanilla sugar, so you’ll always have it ready in your cupboard. Once you use vanilla sugar, you’ll always want to have it on hand. Vanilla sugar 2 cups sugar, I used evaporated cane juice, but good old white is great too. 1 vanilla bean and aromatic seeds In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, mix 2 cups of sugar with the seeds and a package of vanilla. Give her two weeks before her beauty is ready to be revealed; Use and improve any recipe that needs sugar right away.