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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Red Currant Dressing

One of the things that's kind of tricky about cooking this month is that I can't use citrus juice, wine, or any vinegar not made locally of local ingredients. Local vinegars are available at some farmers' markets and specialty stores, but I haven't really put out the effort to find them. I'm making vinegar from apple cider, instead. But it's not ready yet, so, tracking down an acidic substance to throw into last night's salad dressing was a bit of a challenge.

I found local currants grown in New Haven, VT at the store yesterday, and bought a carton each of red and black ones. Gahlord and I tasted some and they made our faces pucker, so they're our new stand-in for lemons. I made up this recipe on the fly when I needed salad dressing; I think it would work equally well with raspberries.

Red_currants_3 Ingredients:

— A handful of red currants
— 1 T maple syrup
— 1/4 cup olive oil
— salt & pepper to taste
— any herbs you might like; dill could be nice

Wash and string the currants, and mush them up with a fork.
Stir in the maple syrup, and taste for sweetness. Add a bit more syrup if it tastes too tart, or more currants if it's too sweet. Stir in the olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs, and you're good to go. If the dressing seems a bit thick, you could thin it with water or apple cider, but be careful not to oversweeten it.
I left the currant seeds and skins in there, but I suppose you could strain them out if you wanted a really smooth sauce.

Put on the salad of your choice, and enjoy!


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Lisa Crean

Necessity is the mother of culinary invention, and even though I'm not local-voring it this month, I'm already looking forward to getting inspired in my own kitchen by the resourceful Dewald doings. It's so easy to get into a cooking rut, and make the same things over and over. The steep challenge you've undertaken is going to call for a lot of creative improv, and I'm excited that we're all going to benefit through this blog. I'm keeping a stack of blank recipe cards by the computer!

pamela polston

meghan--if you're looking for dried organic herbs for tea raised locally, open heart farm in the intervale is growing and selling them at the farmers' markets. they also sell to viva espresso on north winooski ave., but whether for resale or just to make teas there i'm not sure. anyway, they have a couple kinds of mint and chamomile. not a caffeine buzz, but some nice mellow tea choices. they're also keeping a [email protected].


The Open Heart Farm blog is at
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Meghan Dewald

Thanks for the suggestions re: Open Heart Farm, Cathy & Pamela -- I didn't realize they had dried herbs available already. Good to know that Viva Espresso will be selling hot local beverages, too! They're a short walk from my house; I'll have to investigate.

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