This Fresh Orange, Olive and Thyme Salad Dressing is vibrant and juicy and also doubles up nicely as a marinade for meats. It is easy to pull together this interesting combination of fresh citrus, squashed olives and woody herbs.
This combination of these salad dressing ingredients is just lip-smacking. Arg – as I’m writing this I’m suddenly realising just how much I use the term “lip smacking” – quite a lot! I’m sorry if you have noticed this before and find it irritating. I’m a little embarrassed now I’m thinking about it! But, anyway, the point is that this combination of savoury olives and woodsy thyme mixed with the sweetness of fresh orange juice is simply very tasty indeed.
Use this to liven up plain salads or to give roasted vegetables a bright and juicy coating. It is also perfect to use as a marinade for chicken, pork or beef. I often use salad dressings as meat marinades – it’s perfect as the vinegar perfectly tenderises the meat. I love having homemade goodies like this on hand in the kitchen, because then I have fast and easy ways to bring together nice meals to the table. It’s so simple to pour some of this dressing over some chicken breast pieces, let it sit for 30 minutes or so and then grill it on the BBQ. Make up a simple salad and use the rest as your dressing.
You probably have all of these ingredients on hand right now in your kitchen. You’ll need one orange, a handful of olives, a nice olive oil, dijon mustard, white wine vinegar (or any nice vinegar you like) and some woodsy herbs, such as thyme and rosemary. Fresh is preferable, but dried work just fine! Herbs de Provence is a nice dried herb blend. One of my favourite food writers, Nigel Slater says that is the only form of dried herbs he will use.
To make this dressing, zest and squeeze the juice of one large orange. Then take a small handful of olives and finely chop them. You can crush them, squash them, or chop them – it doesn’t matter! You just want some small olive particles in your dressing. Set these aside in a bowl, along with 1 Tbsp of finely chopped/dried herbs.
In a 500ml jar, add 1 cup of olive oil, heaped teaspoon of dijon mustard, 1 Tbsp runny honey, 1/2 cup of vinegar and a good scattering of salt and pepper. Put the jars lid on tightly then shake for your life! This helps emulsify and thicken the dressing. Keep going until no bits of mustard can be seen – all the dressing should be incorporated together. Next, add in the bits of olive (plus the juices that came out of them) and herbs, and fresh orange juice and zest. Give it a final shake, then taste to check for seasoning. YUM!!
Note – salad dressings are not meant to be exact! Make it how you like it. If you want it sweeter, add more honey. If you want it more savoury, add more oil. If you want it more sour, add more vinegar. If it is too thick, add a few drops of water. Too thin, add another spoon of mustard and shake.
- 1 Large Orange
- ¼ Cup Olives (Green or Black)
- 1 Tbsp Fresh or Dried Herbs, such as Thyme and Rosemary
- 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 Tbsp Runny Honey
- 1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- ½ Cup White Wine Vinegar
- Salt and Pepper To Taste
- Using a microplaner, zest the orange all over, avoiding the white pith. Set aside in a bowl, then squeeze the juice of the orange, too.
- Squash the olives with your fingers or a fork, then finely chop them with the herbs. Add the herbs and the olive bits to the orange juice.
- In a 500 ml jar with a lid, add the olive oil, mustard, honey, vinegar, salt and pepper. Shake vigorously until amalgamated.
- Pour in the orange juice mixture and shake again. Taste for seasoning and make any adjustments.