When my girlfriend and I saw this salad dressing bowl that looked like a big handmade mug at a New York City craft fair, I thought it was cute, but gently told her that we probably didn’t need it. Isn’t a leftover jar just fine for salad dressing? Do we really need a dedicated bowl for dressing when we’re just going to dress our salad before we serve it? And aren’t we already buying those candles? But now, many months later, I’m eating my words on a nightly basis because we use the Rachael Pots salad dresser, a piece from the solo project of ceramicist Rachael Scharf, to make salad dressing every night. (Sorry I was wrong again, Julia.)
You can of course just make salad dressing in any old bowl or jar, but this vessel makes dressing that you’ll want to keep making over and over. The bowl came with a very good basic salad dressing recipe we riff on for our nightly salads, but really the secret is that garlic paste makes better dressing, and this bowl makes whipping that up very easy. On the bottom, there’s a small patch of rough etching, onto which you grind a clove of garlic or maybe a little bit of shallot or ginger to form a paste. Then you add oil and vinegar, and ideally a bit of mustard or maybe some miso to help bind it together, and whisk with a fork to emulsify.
Thanks to this dressing bowl, I’ve probably eaten as much salad in the last year as I had in my whole life prior. And once you have one, you don’t need to limit its use to salad dressing. You could use it for marinades or for making dips like guacamole. It could even be a nice gravy boat or a jus canoe (a term I just made up and wholeheartedly endorse). With this bowl, salad days await.