Autumn Salad with Nancy’s Sweet and Tangy Dressing
Months ago, I received the following salad dressing recipe from Nancy, a faithful reader. It was Nancy’s husband who first announced that I simply must try this dressing!
Though I used this dressing frequently in the spring and summer months, my family has been enjoying it anew on a favorite fall salad. Those who have followed this blog for a while have probably noticed that I am a proponent of making homemade dressing and vinaigrettes. A batch prepared quickly over the weekend will facilitate many delicious salads in the weeks ahead. Usually, the only requirement is basic pantry ingredients and the flavor is superior to store bought…and the cost will be less, too.
Nancy reported that the recipe originally came from “Lancaster Entertains,” a cookbook published by the Lancaster (Pennsylvania) Medical Society Auxiliary over 50 years ago! It is credited to Evelyn Jones, a friend of Nancy’s mother.
Nancy always keeps a jar in her fridge, using it as her go-to salad dressing.
When I asked Nancy what sort of salads she uses this special dressing on, she replied quite simply: “Everything!”
Feel free to use the salad recipe as a framework, altering the proportions as desired. You may also substitute an apple for the pear or your favorite nuts for the seeds, depending on what you have on hand. I like an extra hearty sprinkle of salted sunflower seeds!
- Dressing Ingredients:
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar; plain white vinegar may be used)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup salad oil (olive, avocado, grapeseed, and canola oil, all work well)
- Autumn Salad:
- 6 ounces baby spinach or mixed greens of choice
- 1 pear, cored and chopped
- 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup roasted sunflower seeds and/or pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- Mix all the dressing ingredients in blender until thick and well blended, about a minute.
- Store in the refrigerator.
- Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl (or plate individually), drizzle with the dressing, and toss to combine.
I have also mixed a batch with a whisk after mincing the onions. This is a fine option if you do not have a blender.
The dressing will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator. The recipe may be cut in half, if desired.
I find the dressing well suited for a basic spinach and strawberry salad and almost anything with fruit, nuts, and cheese. The slight sweetness is also a welcome contrast to bitter greens and vegetables such as broccoli and radishes.