Benihana Dressing with Salad

Remember Benihana? You went there for your 11th birthday party with 12 of your best friends for life? You caught a piece of chicken teriyaki in your mouth, or maybe it landed on your new outfit? Now try to remember the salad dressing -- sweet and gingery, subtly tangy, as brightly colorful as it flavorful? It's one of the best salad dressing recipes out there, and somehow my mom found a copy and shared it with us. It goes great on any salad, but we tried to compose one with flavors that we thought would compliment the dressing perfectly.

We served this salad as an appetizer to our first sushi FAIL. Yes, we sadly failed at an attempt to make one of our very favorite foods. I think it's because we did a bit of a rush job, but also because we didn't have all of the proper tools and the soy sauce we used tasted funky. One of these days, we'll get our acts together and post some beautiful rolls, because I know we have it in us. So this salad actually ended up as the highlight of the meal, and the dressing was the highlight of the salad. I think it could actually outshine anything that accompanies it, though, because it's just that good.

Ingredients (serves 2):

1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
4 tbsp rice vinegar
4 tbsp water
2 tbsp chopped, peeled ginger
2 tbsp chopped celery
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp tomato paste
3 tsp sugar
2 tsp lemon juice

1 head of romaine lettuce, cut into bite-sized pieces
about 10 cherry tomatoes
1 avocado, sliced
1 orange, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces

To make the salad dressing, combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Divide salad components between two plates, pour dressing over salads, and serve.