Homemade Argan Oil Salad Dressing

This month, I’m highlighting an oil that many Canadians associate with hair products. However, this oil from Africa is commonly used for cooking and as a dressing. Argan oil comes from the argan tree. The production of argan oil and its known medicinal, culinary, and cosmetic properties pre-date colonization of the area. The argan forests in Morocco are currently on the U.N.E.S.C.O list as a biosphere reserve since 1998 (conservation, development, and logistic support).

Each fruit produces 1-3 nuts that have a hard shell, and within that shell are usually 1-3 kernels. From these kernels, argan oil is extracted. When it comes to consumption as a culinary food source, not all argan oil is equal. By far the best quality oil is made with hand harvested argan oil versus the oil that comes from kernels processed from the waste of goats. Argan oil has a distinctive nutty flavour.

The following is an easy recipe for argan oil vinaigrette salad dressing and it goes great with a salad of dark greens.

  • ½ cup Argan Oil
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp kosher salt or coarse sea salt
  • ½ tsp of white pepper or regular black pepper
  • Juice from a quarter to half of a lemon

Combine argan oil and apple cider vinegar together first, then add the rest of the ingredients and whisk together. If you find apple cider vinegar to be too strong in any vinaigrette, use 1 part vinegar to 2 parts oil.

For the salad:

  • 4 cups dark greens (arugula, baby spinach, etc.)
  • ¼ cup of goat cheese (crumble or shredded)
  • ½ an apple
  • ½ onion sliced or diced
  • Handful of nuts (pecans or walnuts)

Another simple and quick salad dressing is mixing:

  • ¼ cup argan oil
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all four in a small bowl and whisk together, then add to a light salad such as a bean salad, couscous salad, or add to a cold chickpea salad.

Sources: unesco.org and www.coeur2nature.com/argan-oil.php

Yovella is a former resident of McCauley who still works and volunteers in the area.

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Janis Irwin MLA
Vista Housing

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