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Red Currant Dressing

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One of the things that's kind of tricky about cooking this month is that I can't use citrus juice, wine, or any vinegar not made locally of local ingredients. Local vinegars are available at some farmers' markets and specialty stores, but I haven't really put out the effort to find them. I'm making vinegar from apple cider, instead. But it's not ready yet, so, tracking down an acidic substance to throw into last night's salad dressing was a bit of a challenge.

I found local currants grown in New Haven, VT at the store yesterday, and bought a carton each of red and black ones. Gahlord and I tasted some and they made our faces pucker, so they're our new stand-in for lemons. I made up this recipe on the fly when I needed salad dressing; I think it would work equally well with raspberries.

Ingredients:

— A handful of red currants
— 1 T maple syrup
— 1/4 cup olive oil
— salt & pepper to taste
— any herbs you might like; dill could be nice

Wash and string the currants, and mush them up with a fork.
Stir in the maple syrup, and taste for sweetness. Add a bit more syrup if it tastes too tart, or more currants if it's too sweet. Stir in the olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs, and you're good to go. If the dressing seems a bit thick, you could thin it with water or apple cider, but be careful not to oversweeten it.
I left the currant seeds and skins in there, but I suppose you could strain them out if you wanted a really smooth sauce.

Put on the salad of your choice, and enjoy!

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