The main attraction in these early days of the farmers markets here is the wide variety of lettuces and salad greens. But I skip right past those stalls, because this year I have a big beautiful, bed of lettuces in my own backyard, with a little help from Bennett-Burk Farm. I have eaten lettuce every day, and passed on large amounts to family and friends. With all this lettuce going around, I had to create the perfect Southern salad dressing to go with it all, so I turned to local pecans and pecan oil for nuttiness and crunch.
A local pecan grower here sells pecan oil, which adds such a nice, rich pecan taste. They sell it online, but if you can’t find pecan oil, use a neutral flavored oil like canola or light olive (not extra virgin, the taste would be too strong.)
Southern Pecan Salad Dressing
3 large cloves of garlic
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¾ cup pecan oil or vegetable oil
¼ cup chopped pecans
Place the garlic, sugar, salt and pepper in the carafe of a blender and pulse a few times. Add the vinegar and blend until smooth. With the motor running, drizzle in the oil until the dressing is emulsified and looks creamy. Pour the dressing into a tightly sealing jar, add the chopped pecans and shake.
The dressing will keep for 2 days in the fridge in the sealed jar. Shake to combine before using.
Makes 1 cup dressing