Brighten up your salads with this homemade dressing
Chives are coming into season and if you typically make your own salad dressing this is a fun one to try. It includes orange juice, saffron and chives. I used my food processor but you can finely chop the chives and emulsify the dressing with a whisk. I use this on a simple salad with cucumbers and walnuts but it would go well on a more robust salad.
Chives were studied for their ability to inhibit food-borne bacteria in the study Diallyl Sulfide Content and Antimicrobial Activity against Food-Borne Pathogenic Bacteria of Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) by Pongsak Rattanachaikunsopon and Parichat Phumkhachorn. Chives are related to many other aromatic vegetables, they are “bulb-forming herbaceous perennial plants belonging, together with garlic, onion, shallot and leek, to the Alliaceae family” (Rattanachaikunsopon et al 2987). The researchers believed the contents of chives will inhibit bacteria, “diallyl sulfides (diallyl monosulfide, diallyl disulfide, diallyl trisulfide and diallyl tetrasulfide), which are the sulfur containing compounds found in chives, are believed to be responsible for the health-promoting effects and antimicrobial activity (Rattanachaikunsopon et al 2987). I found most interesting the results of their ‘food model’ test, where they rubbed chive oil on raw chicken infected with E. coli and tested how much bacteria was present compared to raw chicken with E. coli that hadn’t been treated with chive oil. “when E. coli O157:H7 was inoculated on chicken breast to which chive oil had been applied, the number of bacterial strains was decreased...within 21 h after the bacterial inoculation (Rattanachaikunsopon et al 2989). So if you are making chicken and worried you didn’t cook it long enough, you can pair it with this dressing!! (or just cook your chicken a little longer :)) Either way this dressing is tasty!
Makes a little over a half cup of dressing
½ cup olive oil
3 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp chives
½ tsp grated orange zest
2 tsp basil (optional)
Pinch saffron threads (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and mix until combined. Alternately you can roughly chop all the add-ins and whisk until everything is emulsified.
Rattanachaikunsopon, Pongsak, and Parichat Phumkhachorn. “Diallyl Sulfide Content and Antimicrobial Activity against Food-Borne Pathogenic Bacteria of Chives (Allium Schoenoprasum).” Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, vol. 72, no. 11, 2008, pp. 2987–2991.
Madison, Deborah.Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. New York: Broadway Books; 2007.