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~ Jalapeno, Cilantro, Lime & Yogurt Salad Dressing ~

IMG_0196It is salad season.  From the end of July through the end of September, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, onions, all sorts of herbs (and a host of other vegetables) get picked daily, right in my own backyard.  Rare is the day some sort of salad or crudités isn't on our table for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.  It's simply appropriate that a salad composed of the freshest, homegrown ingredients get enhanced by an equally bright and bold scratch-made dressing.

A quick scroll through Category 8 (Condiments, Sauces & Gravies) here on Kitchen Encounters will reveal many of my favorite salad dressings and vinaigrettes, each one appropriate for either a specific salad or a salad geared to pair with a specific cuisine.  I've carefully developed these recipes over a long period of time, as, I take my salad dressings seriously.  Trust me, when I post a salad dressing on my blog, it has my family's whole-hearted stamp of approval on it.

IMG_0197Today's dressing is one that I make often during the grilling and tailgate season, as, Tex/Mex fare is a particular favorite of my family and is very popular with a lot of our tailgating friends too. Almost anything Tex/Mex that can be conjured up requiring a side-salad to complement it, this five-minute-to-make dressing is the ticket for it.  There's more:  It can be used as a dip, a spread, and, it goes great with a variety of meat, poultry, fish, seafood and vegetable dishes too.

IMG_01591  cup plain yogurt

1-1 1/2 cups minced, fresh cilantro (Note:  Since the cilantro is going to be processed, including more stem in your minced cilantro than you normally would in other recipes is just fine.)

1  8-ounce jar sliced, pickled jalapenos, well-drained

1  large lime, all of its zest and all of its juice (Note:  You need 1 tablespoon lime juice.  In a pinch, bottled concentrate is ok.)

1  teaspoon sugar

1/4  teaspoon sea salt

PICT0031Step 1.  Place all ingredients in work bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade.  With motor running, process until smooth, 30-45 seconds.  Transfer to a food storage container and refrigerate 2-24 hours, and, up to one week.

Note:  This dressing thickens as it chills, and, its flavor intensifies if the flavors are given time to marry, so, if you have the time to make it a day in advance, yes, please do it.

A DIP for my Batter-Dipped Avocado Bites:


A DRESSING on my Corn Cakes  & BLT Salad:


A TOPPING for my Chili Cheddar Cheeseburger:


Jalapeno, Cilantro, Lime & Yogurt Salad Dressing:  Recipe yields 2 1/2 cups.

Special Equipment List:  cutting board; chef's knife; microplane grater; food processor

IMG_0129Cook's Note:  For a kid-tested favorite, my recipe for ~ Mel's "Happy Valley" Ranch-Style Salad Dressing ~ is one that every mom should have in her repertoire.  I can't promise your kids will eat all of their healthy veggie snacks, but they will eat more of them!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie Preschutti/Copyright 2016)


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