In the film "When Harry met Sally," there is one conversations between Harry and Sally that always amuses me:
Harry: There are two kinds of women: high maintenance and low maintenance.
Sally ask: Which one am I?
Harry: You're the worst kind. You're high maintenance but you think you're low maintenance.
Sally: I don't see that.
Harry: You don't see that? (He mimics her typical ordering procedure) 'Waiter, I'll begin with the house salad, but I don't want the regular dressing. I'll have the balsamic vinegar and oil, but on the side, and then the salmon with the mustard sauce, but I want the mustard sauce on the side.'
'On the side' is a very big thing for you.
Sally: Well, I just want it the way I want it.
Harry: I know, high maintenance."
I am a picky individual. I am perfectly aware of this. It is something I may have even been faulted for at times. Becoming more health-conscience in a family of 6 is not always to your parent's delight, especially when it begins affecting the grocery bill. I'll never forget when my dad saw me picking up certified organic apples instead of the generic ones. By his reaction, you would've thought I had knocked over a small child. I have, however, grown to be a bit more wise in my "decisiveness."
Still, there are some instances where I can be severely indecisive. For instance, give me a gift card to itunes and I may hold onto it for a year simply because I don't know what song to prioritize and buy next. Or bring me to the Whole Foods cheese aisle and I may take 15 minutes deciding between which goats cheese to buy: a simple Chevre wrapped in savory fresh herbs, melt-in-your-mouth manchego, or the intoxicating favorite "The Drunken Goat?!" There - I am at a loss.
But there are some things I am certain of. How I like my salad is one of them. As a teenager, it was any kind of sweet or honey-mustard dressing, only on the side. Later, hitting my twenties, it was balsamic vinaigrette, on the side. Now, I've come to the realization that all these bland options pale in comparison to homemade vinaigrettes. Prepared with fresh shallots, garlic, clean olive oils and vinegars, may sounds like it's pushing high maintenance, but it's worth it. From a dijon thyme vinaigrette, citrus-shallot, to my more recent addiction a Ginger carrot dressing, that is truly, as all 3 other women in my house can vouch for, truly addictive, salads become an art all their own.
It was something I came upon 2 years ago, thanks to Goop-recommended detox, that i set a new standard for dressings. Initially, when I discovered the recipe for the day 1 menu with the Carrot Ginger dressing, I was turned off to see that it called for nearly 7 different ingredients! But my sister, doing the detox with me me, pushed me to follow the plan to the T. A simple balsamic vinaigrette just wouldn't do. So I went out and purchased, for the first time, items like miso, sesame oil, shallots and ginger root. After spending a little while figuring out how to process it all I was hooked. It is totally worth all 7 ingredients. I know it's sounds completely ridiculous, spending all that time and money one what ends up as just another item in your fridge. But once you start it's hard to go back.
The recipe below may not look low-maintenance by any means. But this involved dressing has become a favorite of mine. One might say a staple. What can I say. I just want it the way I want it.
Low-Maintenance Ginger dressing
from the Clean Program on Goop
- 1 tablespoon sweet miso
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon roasted sesame seed oil
- 1/4 cup of grapeseed oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 large shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh ginger
Pulse the carrot, shallot and ginger in a blender until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides, add the miso, vinegar and sesame seed oil and whiz together. While the blender is going, slowly drizzle in the grapeseed oil and the water.
Serves great as a dip with cauliflower and cucumbers (as shown above.)