This dressing is inspired by a Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher essay, in which she describes how the traditional Dijon spice bread was made in the 1930's. The primary flavors in that bread combine beautifully in other ways. Even if you don't care much for anise seed, you may well like this, as its flavor is balanced with the bold mustard and lemon flavors, while the three of them are mellowed by the honey. We like this on winter salads made with gem lettuces, toasted pistachios, and diced cucumber. Enjoy!! —AntoniaJames
about 1/4 cup
3 or 4 cloves of roasted garlic (optional)
1/2 teaspoon anise seed
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, or more to taste
½ to 1 teaspoon honey, to taste
Juice and zest of one medium lemon
1 tablespoon fruity olive oil
2 tablespoons crème fraiche (or a second tablespoon of olive oil instead)
Using a mortar and pestle, mash together the garlic, if using, the anise seed and a pinch of salt, until the seeds are well broken.
Add the lemon juice and zest, the mustard and the honey; whisk well to combine. Both mustard and lemons can vary considerably in how sharp they are, so you may need more honey, or less, to balance them.
Whisk in quickly the olive oil and then the crème fraiche, if using. Add freshly ground pepper to taste.
Allow the flavors to combine for a few minutes, then check for sweetness and for salt. Add more honey if necessary.
N.B. This dressing also works well for potato salad, warm or cold.
When I'm not working (negotiating transactions for internet companies), or outside enjoying the gorgeous surroundings here in the San Francisco Bay Area, I'm likely to be cooking, shopping for food, planning my next culinary experiment, or researching, voraciously, whatever interests me. In my kitchen, no matter what I am doing -- and I actually don't mind cleaning up -- I am deeply grateful for having the means to create, share with others and eat great food. Life is very good. ;o)