View Full Version : how to make a creamy parsley dressing?
09-21-2007, 07:10 PM
ugh. I STINK at making salad dressing. I don't get it. I just cannot seem to get it right-evah.
What I WANT to make is a bright green parsley dressing. I want it kind of thick and creamy. I thought you mixed the vinegar, parsley, lemon juice, then slowly add the olive oil while the blender is running. didn't work. it was thin and oily. what am I doing wrong?
09-21-2007, 08:50 PM
My only suggestion is to use soaked cashews. I also always fail at making mayonnaise-like dressings with vinegar/lemon juice and oil--I've tried many recipes, and poured the oil in a very thin stream, and tried with all different blender speeds--nothing seems to work.
So if anyone else has the secret to mayo-like success, please share!
Also--does altitude matter . . . ?
09-21-2007, 11:36 PM
I second cashews! Or maybe even avocado
09-22-2007, 06:09 AM
yes-those might work, But I know it can be done without them. I lived with the Twelve Tribes in Vermont for about 6 months and we made it there. I KNOW we didn't use anything like avo or cashews, or mayo. So I know it can be done. I've been trying to make it for 12 years, since I left, and I still can't get it right. (Not worth going back to learn tho! LOL!)
09-23-2007, 07:35 PM
I just joined this forum today, & you are the recipient of my first post..I hope the information I provide helps you in making a sucessful dressing..
As a chef I will tell you that most of the dressings that I have created have several things in common..
1. Good oil--in my experience the better the quality of the olive oil (my preference in oils) the easier the time I have had in creating a dressing that was properly emulsified..My educated guess is that the high quality olive oils have a higher natural acid content , which aids in acidifing the mixture of ingredients..When you taste such oils they have a distinctive "bite" on the tongue..A good shop will have open bottles of oil so that you can taste an oil before purchasing..
2. Mustard--virtually all prepared mustards have vinegar in them as part of the ingredient base..The vinegar in the mustard is again helping to acidify the mixture, leading towards a proper emulsification..
Mustards may be made that do not contain vinegar, if the issue of fermented foods is such that you wish to avoid vinegar in your diet as a raw foodist..
The links below will guide you to recipes & ingredients for mustard making..
Just extrapolate out of whatever recipe you choose, what you want to use as a raw foodist, & go from there..
3. Garlic--As anyone who has tasted, & or worked with raw garlic knows, garlic has a "bite" similar to a good olive oil..It is also "sticky"..I do not know what chemicals are in raw garlic that give it these characteristics, but I do know that using raw garlic in a dressing seems to aid in emulsification..
4. An acid--traditionally vinegar or lemon juice..For those raw foodists not eating fermented foods that pretty much leaves lemon juice..Some varieties of limes will have the proper acid content to work in dressings..You will just have to test with a pH strip or taste to gauge if the limes you wish to use are acidic enough..
5. Technique--Use a food processor as opposed to a blender..This probably sounds like heresy to those of us who own a high-powered blender (including myself)..
In my opinion the conventional old-fashioned blender such as an Oster Osterizer is harder to use than a food processor to create a suceesful dressing..Blenders such as Vita-Mix, BlendTec, Waring, & others with their super high speeds make it even harder to control the emulsification process..
I feel that there are several reasons for this..
First, the faster that the blades spin, the more heat is generated..Too much heat will prevent or destroy the emulsification..
Second, a blender jar's blades are much smaller than a food processor's blades..This means that the the larger surface area of the food processor's blades contacts signifigantly more of the oil being added to the bowl..Once emulsification starts, it procedes much more quickly, with less heat generated..
Third, blender jars are designed to create a venturi in the food that is being blended..The job of the venturi is to draw down towards the blades any food in the jar..This is great as long as the food is not too thick or sticky..This is why Vita-Mix designed their blender lids to be able to use a pusher rod..
As dressings emulsify in the blender jar they often get thick very quickly..They tend to ride up the walls of the jar & not move.. You can use the pusher rod to try & move the dressing around so that everything is evenly incorporated, but it is a lot harder to consistantly create a proper dressing in a blender, than it is in a food processor..
Fourth, Food processors spin slower, or near the same speeds as older blenders.. Because things are spread out in the bowl of a food processor it is easier to see what is happening while you are adding the oil..In a blender jar, the design of the jar leads to your view being partially blocked..Using the pusher rod does not let you see much of anything that is going on in the jar..
I feel that when you look directly down at the emulsification process it is easier to see what is happening so as to slow down or speed up the addition of oil..It is much easier to see what is going on in the bowl of a food processor, as compared to the jar of a blender..
If you do not wear glasses I would suggest wearing clear safety glasses while making dressing as it will splash up towards ones eyes..
HOW I WOULD MAKE A CREAMY PARSLEY DRESSING
TOOLS: A very clean 7-cup food processor (what I own at home, & what I've worked with in a lot of restaurants)---There must absolutely be no soap residue on any part of the bowl or blade---It should also be dry---Three to four 12 oz. paper cups---Good olive oil---Mustard---Raw garlic, minced or put through a garlic press (if using a garlic press, use, do not throw away the garlic trapped inside of the press)---Lemon juice or vinegar---1 bunch of fresh parsley, washed & shaken or spun dry---Pepper mill for fresh-ground black pepper---Sea salt---Clean, cold water---Raw honey (if needed)
A. Bend all four of the paper cups in half to form a crease---Open the cups up & fill them with approximately 8-10 ozs. of oil each..
As a professional chef who has made thousands of gallons of dressing I find that the creased paper cup gives me the greatest control in adding the oil slowly to the bowl of the food processor..Nothing else that I have tried has led to the consistancy that I have enjoyed using the paper cups..
B. Add the lemon juice or vinegar to the bowl of the food processor fitted with the metal blade until it comes up to a level just below the bottom surface of the metal blade..This will seem like far too much acid, but without it the dressing will fail to emulsify, more often than not..
C. Add 3-4 generous TBSP of mustard..Again, this will seem to be too much mustard, but this is going to make a fair amount of dressing..
D. Add 1-2 TBSP of minced garlic
E. Do not add anything else to the bowl at this time...Put the cover to the bowl on w/o the round white plastic pusher tube..
F. Close the lid of the food processor so that it can be turned on..Turn the food processor on so as to run constantly..Pick up the first cup of oil, & slowly in a VERY small stream, add the oil to the bowl of the food processor..Stay as close to the edge of the bowl as possible, dribbling the oil onto the top of the blade, again as close to the tip of the blade as possible..
The emulsification of the oil is at first occuring right at the tip of the blade where it is spinning the fastest..
You cannot add the oil too slowly, but if you add it too fast the emulsification will not occur, or it will break after starting to form..
G. Continue to add the oil until you can see a definite thickening of the dressing, always adding it slowly..With this much product, emulsification will probably start to form somewhere between the middle to the end of the second cup of oil..Sometimes it happens a little sooner, rarely later..
The sound of the blades spinning through the dressing will deepen..If you think that the dressing has started to emulsify, stop the processor by twisting the lid off to remove it..Do this quickly & look into the bowl..The dressing should now be over the top of the blades, more or less obscuring them..The dressing should have a mayonaise-like texture & consistancy..
H. Once the dressing has emulsified, add the remainder of the oil taking care not to add it too quickly..Once experience is obtained, the oil may be added more quickly after emulsification has begun..There is a fine line between just right & too quickly..Experience helps..
I. Now is the time to add the parsley, salt, & pepper..Tear the parsley into clumps, stems & all..Push the parsley down into the dressing..Cover & use the pulse button until it is evenly chopped & incorporated into the dressing..
J. Add 1-3 TSP coarse, freshly ground black pepper (to taste) & 1-2 TSP of sea salt..Start with the smaller amount of salt..Add more later, if desired..
K. Many have probably wondered why I had clean, cold water in the ingredient list..It will be used to thin the dressing..
This method of making dressing results in a very thick dressing..It was designed to allow for thinning after emulsification..My ratio of acid to oil is greater than if I was making a dressing by hand in a bowl with a whisk..When properly executed you should be able to stand a teaspoon up in the dressing in the bowl of the food processor before thinning..
The high acid to oil ratio makes for a MUCH greater likelyhood of sucess, especially for beginners & those who have had trouble with dressings..
L. After the parsley, salt, & pepper have been added & incorporated, place the lid to the food processor back on..Using the pulse button, turn on the machine so that it stays running..Add the cold water & thin out the dressing until it is the consistancy that you like..Process only as much as is needed to thin out the dressing..
M. Now that the dressing has been thinned, taste it again for salt & pepper..If you feel that it is needed, add more salt & pepper..Take care not to over season..Additional seasoning can always be added the next day by placing the dressing into a large bowl & whisking in the needed seasonings..The flavors will marry over night..
This is also the time to add the raw honey if you think the dressing is too tart..
Remember that the dressing will thicken up some over night in the refrigerator..
This should keep for several weeks in a cold fridge..
If it seperates, shake it up in a jar with a tight lid..
WOW!! What a long first post!!
Good luck with making your next dressing Zaphirah!!
09-23-2007, 11:45 PM
for you first post that was something, I'm all ready looking forward to your 2nd,3rd,4th....
To late to make dressing tonight...
09-24-2007, 06:41 AM
wow bruce! you rawk! Thank you thank you thank you! I may have parsley dressing after all these years! YIPPEE! Thank you for taking the time to really explain each step. That is so helpful. and Welcome to RFT. I look forward to getting to know you!
09-24-2007, 06:45 AM
WOW! Bruce - that was an incredible post. I cant wait to see more.. Zaphirah, thanks for asking such a great question! I've always wanted a parsley dressing too. Am off to get me the ingredients!
09-25-2007, 01:37 PM
Thanks for your post. It gave me the idea that I could get my mayo thick this way. Just brilliant. The first time I made raw mayo in our blender I got it nice and thick and then I couldn't duplicate it no matter what I did. I knew I needed a slower speed and tried to drag my old blender of the basement but that didn't work either as it splattered everywhere when I added the oil.
I have an older Braun Multipractic 100 food processor that has been working well for me so far. Plan to upgrade to Cuisenart when it dies. Today I'm going to try it out with my mayo recipe and see if it works.
I'm looking forward to your future posts and welcome. :)
09-25-2007, 01:40 PM
i don't know if anyone mentioned this - but tahini is a great dressing base
mixed with ACV and water and some lemon juice i would think
09-26-2007, 07:10 AM
Thanks for all of the details!
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