Spring Green Salad with Jalapeno Pepper Dressing

A salad dressing which is becoming increasingly popular on Louisiana restaurant menus is “Jalapeno Pepper Salad Dressing.” Some variations use red pepper jelly and others Tabasco pepper jelly. I made homemade jalapeno pepper jelly last summer and figured that this would be a good use for own jars of jelly. This salad dressing is a vinaigrette-style of dressing with a sweetness. It complements tart salad green blends nicely.

Nothing can compare with homemade salad dressings. They are so simple to make and I prefer the flavor over commercial salad dressings. I have many favorite salad dressings and have included some of those on past blog posts. When I started to notice jalapeno jelly-type salad dressings on restaurant menus, my interest perked up. A great use for all my homemade jars of jalapeno pepper jelly.

My homemade jelly recipe actually uses banana peppers as the main ingredient. The jelly recipe can be adapted to use other types of peppers including jalapeno peppers, Tabasco peppers and sweet red peppers — so I have a variety of jellies on my shelf.  The salad dressing can be prepared using all these jellies  I like to be creative — the jalapeno peppers make a “hotter” dressing.

Here are the ingredients for my salad dressing. I use olive oil, rice vinegar, hot mustard, some sort of jalapeno or red pepper jelly, salt and pepper. I prefer rice vinegar in this salad dressing because it is very mild and doesn’t overpower the other ingredients.

To make the salad dressing, blend the vinegar, mustard, jelly, salt and pepper using a small food processor. Then with the blade running, stream in the olive oil (or canola oil). The salad dressing is emulsified. Or you can use a wire whisk to blend the ingredients. I usually make just a small batch of dressing — enough for one meal. But if you have leftovers, refrigerate the salad dressing. Then shake well the next time you use the dressing to blend the oil and vinegar. You may find that the pectin in the jelly separates out. Just bring the dressing to room temperature and whisk or shake to combine.

I can think of many ingredients to add to salads. This time I added sunflower seeds, walnuts, green onions and cherry tomatoes.

Walnuts have plenty of nutritional value. They are higher than any other nut in the essential fatty acid, omega-3 fatty acids, also known as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).  Sunflower seeds are healthy, too. They are rich in Vitamin E and copper. And I love cherry tomatoes — they are available year around in our stores.

I love homemade salad dressings and rarely purchase commercial dressings. Making a salad dressing is quick and easy. And this slightly sweet and tart dressing is one of my favorites. Add an assortment of ingredients for a healthy salad. We frequently add some sort of protein — and make it an entire meal! Enjoy.

Spring Green Salad with Jalapeno Pepper Salad Dressing

  • Servings: 6 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients for salad dressing:

  • 1 Tbsp jalapeno pepper jelly, red pepper jelly or Tabasco pepper jelly
  • 2 tsp hot mustard
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Ingredients for salad:

  • 6 cups commercial salad blend mix (about 5 oz)
  • 4 green onions, white and part of green, sliced
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • cherry tomatoes

Method and Steps:

  1. Place jalapeno pepper jelly, rice vinegar, hot mustard, salt and pepper in small food processor bowl. Pulse to blend.
  2. While food processor is running, stream in olive oil. Alternatively, use wire whisk to blend salad dressing ingredients.
  3. When ready to serve, place salad greens in serving bowl. Add sliced green onions.
  4. Add enough salad dressing to coat salad greens, toss.
  5. Add walnut pieces and sunflower seeds on top of salad. Alternately, pass separately.
  6. Garnish with cherry tomatoes.

 

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