Oil dribbled off my finger tip, which I quickly caught with my tongue before it fell to the countertop. The dressing was getting there, but it was missing something. A touch more soy sauce and maybe some red pepper flakes would do the trick. My goal was simple: I wanted this bowl of snow peas to pop.
From an early age, salad dressings were one of my favorite things to make. Before I was allowed to pick up a knife or light the stove, I was put in charge of seasoning the salad. There were simple creations of olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, but sometimes a sweeter balsamic dressing was more fitting. On other occasions, a lemon vinaigrette acted as the perfect match.
Salad without dressing has no chance of being anything more than a variety of textures. And we don’t eat something for the crunch alone. Even a little olive oil, salt, and some lemon juice can go a long way.
A salad, like the one presented here, is not always your green-based variety. It can be a single, seasonal vegetable that needs some love to liven it up. And, being one that will most likely be consumed alongside other dishes (maybe some soy-marinated chicken or fish that you’ll be throwing on the grill this Memorial Day weekend), it needs a dressing that stays true to the meal as a whole.
I coated the snow peas, pulled out a fork from the drawer and dug in. My senses were overwhelmed in the best possible way. Looking down at the bowl, I smiled and thought, “This is what cooking is all about. This is magic.”