We had dinner at our neighbor's house the other night. They are the founders of New Planet Beer, a company that produces amazing gluten-free beer. I love the raspberry brew. The salad dressing they served is a new personal favorite.
The combination of apricots and basil was a surprise for me and one that I never have considered. The dried apricots (and I recommend using the sulphured kind) give this dressing a beautiful color when blended with the basil.
Seneca adapted it from About.com. After reading the original recipe, I think her adaptation is really superior and easier to make year round when fresh apricots are not available. This is the perfect time of year to make this dressing as the basil is plentiful and inexpensive.
Seneca's Basil and Dried Apricot Salad Dressing
Enough for a large salad for 2.
It is best to make and use this dressing on the same day because it will lose its vibrant color if it sits too long.
4 dried apricots, sulphured apricots are preferable as you will have a nicer color
1 to 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar, to taste (slightly sweet or more acidic)
1 tsp. raw blue agave
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 Tbsp. grapseed oil or mild olive oil
(nut oil like walnut or almond would be good too)
Salt and Pepper, to taste (see pantry note about flake salt below)
Rehydrate the apricots in hot water. Drain away all of the water except for 1 Tbsp.
Put the apricots and the reserved water in a blender along with the cider vinegar, and agave. Process into a thick puree. Add the chopped basil and blend again. Now whisk in the oil.
Arrange your salad: Arugula, mache, spinach and baby greens are all excellent choices. In one version, I added toasted walnuts and the Early Girl tomatoes that are so abundant in Boulder Farmer's Markets. This dressing also works well on raw kale salad.
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Some of My Pantry Staples:
Maldon's Smoked Sea Salt Flakes are an excellent choice for salads. Sprinkle it over the salad just before serving, rather than mixing it ito the dressing, for the best flavor and effect.
The entire Wholesome Sweeteners line is noteworthy but I especially like this organic agave.
Spectrum's Organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar is my preferred cider vinegar. I've tasted quite a few brands, and this one is by far the best as it doesn't have a harsh bite.