Last year, I threw a Spring Fling cocktail party when Cassandra visited Minnesota. Everyone brought something to share. Angela and Ben brought a veggie-packed salad and I don't remember what all was in it besides lettuce and fried tofu strips. But I do remember that it was served with the most amazing peanut maple dressing. It's been called "Ben's Sauce" ever since then.
I've made peanut dressing before, and it was really good. But I guess not good enough, because I've never made it again. This dressing, however!!! THIS dressing I've made TWICE in the last month! I've been eating it on greens, but I'm quite certain it would be great on noodles or in a grain based salad as well.
The night of the party last year, I forced Ben and Angela to recite everything that went into the dressing and Cassandra recorded it for me. I've kept that list of ingredients (but no measurements) this whole time, just waiting for the perfect day to bust it out. I think I've got this dressing exactly where I want it, but when you make this, be your own chef and add a bit here and there to match your palate.
Tonight I wanted an extra crunchy salad so I tossed the dressing with lettuce, cabbage, carrots, radishes, ramps (oh yes I did!), toasted pumpkin seeds, zucchini, and chicken. It was a lot of chopping and slicing, but it was worth it.
Peanut Maple Salad Dressing (aka "Ben's Sauce")
Makes about 1.4 cups of sauce
2 Tbsp peanut butter (I used crunchy)
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
1 clove garlic, grated on microplane
1 inch ginger, grated on microplane
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
Whisk everything together. Taste and add more of whatever you think it needs. Serve as a salad dressing or as a sauce for noodles.
ONE YEAR AGO: Chipotle Salad
TWO YEARS AGO: Mustard Salmon with Smashed Peas