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Sesame Shiitake Vinaigrette and Asian Radish Salad

Even though the sky blesses us with showers everyday, behaving like it’s April, I know it’s really summer. I know because yesterday we got our first CSA delivery. Hot damn—here comes a summer’s worth of recipe inspiration. Already, bright pink-red Cherry Belle radishes and a bag of wild baby greens became this simple salad with radishes all dressed in sesame shiitake vinaigrette.

Sesame Shiitake Vinaigrette and Asian Radish Salad

You gotta agree that those carrot ribbons add to the fun, though it’s the roasted sesame oil, shiitake mushroom and tamari dressing that delivers the wow. A last minute sprinkle of tiny dark green nori seaweed continues the melody of Asian flavors.

One of my girlfriends loves Annie’s Sesame Shiitake salad dressing. We were talking about the cost of bottled dressings and how they can wreak havoc on grocery budgets. So I mixed up this homemade copycat dressing. It tastes a lot like her fave, in fact, she likes it more than the purchased version.

dressing ingredientsSesame Shiitake Vinaigrette

You don’t need anything besides lettuce greens to showcase this winning salad dressing. But if you like radishes, you’ll love how they marry with the vinaigrette’s flavors. Feel free to use any variety of radishes you want—our CSA box included these not-too-spicy Cherry Belles so I used them.

Our radishes were attached to gorgeous green leaves. You might like the radish greens in Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Curry—which also happens to include garlic scapes. Hmmm—it must be CSA time of year!

CSA goodies, radishes and greens

Are you ready for oodles of fresh produce recipes in the months to come? Today I’m making pesto with the curlicue garlic scapes from our Ranui CSA box. I’ll shoot some photos, write a little blurb and input the recipe—look for it here in the next 4 or 5 days.

Sesame Shiitake Vinaigrette and Asian Radish Salad

Sesame Shiitake Vinaigrette and Asian Radish Salad recipe notes:

  • Sesame seeds stale quickly. Taste your sesame seeds for freshness and replace older seeds that have gone rancid. I bought unhulled sesame seeds from our small local natural food store bulk bin.
  • I found dried shiitakes at our local supermarket. You can order them online here. Same with the toasted sesame oil. Easy to find, but can be ordered online.
  • Many commercial salad dressings contain xanthan gum, a powder that makes liquids more viscous (so they stick easily to lettuce.) It also acts as an emulsifier, keeping the oil and vinegar from separating right away. It’s a fairly harmless additive, a bacteria, like yogurt or blue cheese, grown on (usually corn) sugars. Xanthan gum is used in many gluten-free recipes; Bob’s Red Mill sells it in a huge bag. To use up a bag you’ll need to make this vinaigrette a million times, or go on a gluten-free baking spree. I add xanthan gum to my copycat recipe but it’s certainly not a crucial ingredient.
  • We use recycled empty glass commercial salad dressing bottles for our homemade dressing. I’m thinking these retro style bottles would look really cool in photos…

dressing ingredients for Sesame Shiitake Vinaigrette

P. S. Here’s another one of my copycat salad dressings—Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette.

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Sesame Shiitake Vinaigrette and Asian Radish Salad
Print
Sesame Shiitake Vinaigrette
Ingredients
  • For the vinaigrette:
  • 2 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 1 cup grapeseed or non-GMO canola oil
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons tamari soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons reserved mushroom soaking water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum powder , optional (see note)
  • The salad:
  • About 4 radishes , trimmed and washed
  • 1 carrot , peeled
  • Sesame Shiitake Vinaigrette , as needed
  • 4 handfuls mixed salad greens
  • 1/4 sheet nori (Japanese seaweed)
Instructions
  1. Make the vinaigrette:
  2. Put the mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soak until the mushrooms are soft, about 10 minutes. Toast the sesame seeds in a small skillet, stirring until they are golden in color. Remove from the heat so they don’t burn.
  3. Drain the mushrooms, reserving 3 tablespoons of the soaking water. Trim and discard the stem; chop the mushrooms.
  4. In a blender jar, put the oil, vinegar, soy sauce, reserved soaking water, sesame oil, the chopped mushrooms and xanthan gum, if using. Whir about 10 seconds, just until the mushrooms are tiny pieces. Add the toasted sesame seeds and blend a few seconds more.
  5. Store in a glass jar, refrigerated.
  6. Assemble the salad:
  7. Chill 4 salad plates. Slice the radishes thinly. Using a vegetable peeler, peel thin ribbons from the carrot stick.
  8. Pour about 2 tablespoons of Sesame Shiitake Vinaigrette into a mixing bowl. Add the greens, gently tossing so they are lightly coated. Divide between the chilled plates.
  9. Pour another tablespoon of dressing into the bowl. Toss the radishes and carrot ribbons until lightly coated. Arrange on top of the greens. Cut the nori strips in slivers and sprinkle on top of the salad.
  10. Serve immediately.
Recipe Notes
Xanthan gum is an optional ingredient--definitely not crucial to the flavor of the vinaigrette or the finished salad.

9 comments

  • […] I am finally reading this important book thanks to recorded books on CD. Did you know that xanthan gum, used in many of our favorite store-bought salad dressings, is likely made from corn? So much to […] Reply · 10 January, 2011

  • I so support “copycat’ bottled dressing because it doesn’t matter what your culinary skills are – you can make dressing. Bottled dressing is often filled with stuff you don’t really wanna eat. GREG Reply · 11 June, 2015

    • Letty

      Here here Greg. My hubbie likes his Paul Newman but I make him buy the only ONE without sugar. And then he splits the dressing into 2 bottles–adds 8oz of V-8, balsamic and (more than one) clove of garlic. And more black pepper. I kinda like it buy prefer my homemades for quality oil. Reply · 12 June, 2015

  • […] P. S. You might also like this sesame shiitake salad dressing. […] Reply · 12 June, 2015

  • Love the strips of nori. Reply · 13 June, 2015

  • Thanks for this recipe! I’ve added it to the Farm Fresh Feasts Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks who love to eat from the farm share.
    I appreciate it! Reply · 18 June, 2015

    • Letty

      Appreciate you back Kirsten! Reply · 18 June, 2015

  • […] might also like this Sesame Shiitake Vinaigrette, or this Maple Pecan […] Reply · 31 December, 2015

  • […] You might also want to check out my other Annie’s copycat vinaigrette recipe–Sesame Shiitake Vinaigrette! […] Reply · 17 May, 2016

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