When one Annapolis mother couldn’t get her three boys to eat their vegetables, she got creative, making her own dressings to flavor the greens. As the kids got older, they realized how delicious mom’s sauces were and formed a company in 2009 to market the blends.
Named after Teresa Vetter, Tessemae’s All Natural products—dressings and marinades manufactured in Essex—can be found in area Whole Foods stores (look for them in the refrigerated section) or ordered online at tessemaes.com.
A family-run business has its perks, says son and CEO Greg Vetter, who likes “having a team that I completely trust and I know has my back.” The soy-ginger dressing is the best seller, he says. But we also like the tangy cracked-pepper dressing ($5.49), which added zip to our steamed asparagus one evening.
TESSIPES: Sautéed Chicken
Marinate 1 1/2 pounds chicken-breast cutlets in 1/4 cup Tessemae’s red-wine vinaigrette at least 15 minutes or overnight, refrigerated. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium high. Add chicken in batches; cook until lightly browned and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Serve with sliced red onion, capers, and arugula tossed in the red-wine vinaigrette to taste. Adapted from tessemaes.com.
Our own Lauren Giordano tosses Tessemae’s lemon Chesapeake dressing with a little melted butter and chicken wings and then bakes until crispy.