FFWD – Vanilla Vegetable Salad


After a summer of salads comprised of whatever the garden’s got on offer, it seems like time to examine the shelves and stalls at the market a little more closely. There are still some remnants of the summer’s harvest on the shelves, but now there are also apples upon apples, winter squashes, root and cruciferous vegetables – things that speak of roasting or stewing, not the quick-dressed freshness of hot-weather meals.

Still, there’s one last summer salad for French Fridays and luckily the markets easily yielded the ingredients. Well, more or less. I haven’t seen a yellow zucchini for a few weeks now, so I opted for a small green one. And since the colour scheme was already in flux, I picked up some heirloom purple carrots in place of orange. For the greens, I chose an herby mix that I thought would counterbalance any dissonance I might experience from the vanilla in the dressing.

Yes, vanilla. There’s a lot of olive oil and lemon in this dressing, with only a touch of vanilla extract, but the flavour is transformed by it. I made the dressing by eye, since I was halving the recipe, so I may have been a bit conservative with the amount of vanilla I used, but the flavour was definitely there. My first taste was surprising – I didn’t even register whether I liked it or not. It was just something new to me. Then, I simply enjoyed it. Kevin told me that he liked it, but didn’t love it. (He’d eat it again, so I consider it a win for him.)

I’d love to try this dressing in a salad that’s already a mix of sweet and savoury, one with strawberries or figs, perhaps. There’s still a little time before cold-weather eating fully sets in.

Find links to the rest of the French Fridays crew’s posts here: Vanilla Vegetable Salad


15 thoughts on “FFWD – Vanilla Vegetable Salad

  1. Yes, fruit salad would be nice for this dressing.
    It is always strange to see how the produce changes out in between seasons. I am looking forward to the fall crops, but will miss the freshness of summer’s bounty.

  2. I love the pretty colors of your salad! I like your idea of trying the dressing on a salad with strawberries or figs in it. I think it would bring the flavors together better.

  3. I love all the colors in your salad! I didn’t like the dressing on this salad, but I think Cher is onto something with her suggestion of using this dressing on a salad with fruit.

  4. You’re so lucky to live where apples are grown! We have such an abundance of produce here, but not apples. We really enjoyed this one, too, but I’d like to try it with other salads, too.

  5. I am in the minority this week…I enjoyed it! I actually gave this dressing another shot with an Arugula, fig and goat cheese salad…it was lovely! Love how your salad looks with those gorgeous red carrots…so pretty!

  6. Yes I am having fun with the make-ups. When you join late it is easy. I wanted to love this salad but…I just bought rainbow carrots for my meals this week. I am looking forward to the purple ones.

  7. Interesting idea to try the dressing on a salad with a sweet and savory combo. Maybe a green salad with fruit (one of my favorite kinds). But I’m not sure I will try it. This dressing didn’t wow me. I’m glad you enjoyed it though

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