Lemons, oranges, Japanese yuzus and green apples bring the necessary tang to enliven your favourite salad. The challenge – and the fun – is choosing the ingredient to match the type of lettuce. Arugula is slightly tangy and peppery, so it goes well with lemon juice, while the soft texture of lamb’s lettuce calls for less tart orange juice. Rieslings are usually the best choice of wine.
CREAM OF THE CROP
An excellent base with which to make a salad dressing, cream is easy to flavour. Table cream combined with shaved Parmesan and fines herbs makes a good vinaigrette for frisée salad. Crème fraîche easily absorbs the flavours of walnut oil and enhances a grilled heart of romaine lettuce. And don’t forget that maple syrup can help soften the sharpness of sour cream. A Chardonnay, from Europe or elsewhere, makes an excellent companion to these different vinaigrettes.
A STYLE ALL THEIR OWN
It’s not because vinegar and wine don’t get along that you have to stick with sweet and insipid vinaigrettes. Ginger and paprika are a fine match with grapefruit juice in a highly seasoned, spicy one. A combination of coriander, lemon grass and soy sauce will bring with it an Asian touch, ideal for a bean-sprout salad. In these cases, select a wine like a Pinot Gris or a lightly woody Sauvignon Blanc as accompaniments.