Spring is here — finally! Summer is around the corner. Soon the produce will be fresher and more appealing. And everyone seems to start eating more salads. What’s better than big juicy tomatoes and cucumbers picked right from the garden (or the farmer’s market)? Nothing, I tell you. Nothing is better than that!
But … I have an issue. This goes way beyond pet peeve. I’m cringing. My blood pressure is raising. My teacher voice is coming out. My finger — all of its own accord — is pointing in the air and ready to start wagging around. Don’t douse your lovely salad in store-bought dressing full of words you can’t pronounce.
Why? Why would you put maltodextrin, yeast extract, calcium disodium edta, caramel coloring and other scary stuff on your beautiful, farm-fresh salad?
MAKE YOUR OWN DRESSING!!! It’s sooo much better. It’s tastes better. It’s better for you. (It’s better for my blood pressure). And it’s just so, so easy. And easily adaptable. But we’ll start basic. We’ll adapt later. Ready? Olive oil, Vinegar (Let’s use red wine vinegar today). Dijon mustard. Garlic (You could omit this if you want but I’m not going to). Salt. Pepper. Those were all words we can pronounce. Those are real foods for your salad. It’s a beautiful thing.
Are you still with me? Smash up the garlic. Put it in a bowl and mix with the Dijon and vinegar. Slowly, in a stream, drizzle in the olive oil while whisking. Add salt and pepper to taste. You made a basic homemade salad dressing. Someone told me they thought making your own dressing was “fussy.” Was this too fussy? If this was too fussy, here’s an even easier way. Put all the ingredients in a jar and shake. There.
Instructions: Smash the garlic into a paste (mix in a little kosher salt while doing this).Put it to a bowl and mix in the Dijon and Vinegar. Drizzle in the olive oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly, so it emulsifies. Add salt and pepper to taste. Alternately, put all the ingredients into a jar and shake. Dressing will stay good for a couple days in the refrigerator. The olive oil will solidify in the refrigerator. Let it sit out at room temperature for a few minutes before serving, and give it a good shake. It’ll be good to go again.