№ 87 - Lettuces, Soy Sauce Vinaigrette
This recipe from Nancy Singleton Hachisu's Japanese Farm Food features one of my favorite salad dressings. It's light, vibrant, flavorful and appetizing - just how salad dressings should be. With only three pantry ingredients - oil, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar - I don't need to plan for it and it's whisked together in seconds. While it obviously pairs perfectly with Japanese food, it's not so obviously oriental that it would be out of place next to Western/Mediterranean dishes.
Wash the lettuce leaves in plenty of cold water and dry in a salad spinner (or, alternatively, sandwich the leaves between kitchen towels and pat gently). Tear up any pieces too big to fork and place lettuce in a large salad bowl. When you're ready to serve (and only then), pour the oil, soy sauce and vinegar into a little mixing bowl, whisk together with a fork and toss the lettuces gently with the dressing. If you combine and whisk the dressing earlier, it will separate before you dress the salad and never emulsify as well the first time. (Don't ask me why - but I've seen it happen many times). And as with any green salad, don't dress it until you're ready to eat since the leaves will wilt rapidly once exposed to the dressing's salt and vinegar.