I love a good salad to the point that I can crave a meal of luscious glistening greens, a delicious vinaigrette, and some form of protein and be simply happy!
I believe that a wonderful blend of colors and textures in a salad is tantamount to a salad’s success.
A dressing is meant to enhance the blending of elements rather than drown the contents.
“Vinaigrette is to salad
what diamonds are to ears
and draperies are to windows.” – Amy Ward
My idea of a vinaigrette is a luscious and balanced emulsification of the sour, the sweet, the fat, the seasonings in fresh herbs and onions/garlic, and the right amount of salt and fresh cracked pepper. Blend in a blender or shake in a Ball jar and you’re sure to be satisfied when you drizzle it over your fresh collection of greens, added bonus items for color/crunch/texture, and protein.
“What I say to vinaigrette before dressing the salad, ‘You complete me.’” – Amy (Chuckle)
My recipe for you today is yours to create based on the season of the year and/or the items you already have in your pantry.
When I make a vinaigrette, I use:
- something sweet like honey, agave nectar, genuine Maple syrup, or sugar
- something sour like cider vinegar, white vinegar, balsamic vinegar, champagne vinegar, red wine vinegar, or tarragon vinegar
- a fat like extra virgin olive oil or canola oil,
- dijon or spicy mustard
- some freshly chopped shallot, Vidalia onion, green onion, or chives
- kosher salt and cracked pepper
- occasionally a splash of Worcesteshire sauce
- 2 teaspoons of sweet (honey, agave nectar, Maple syrup, or sugar)
- 4 Tablespoons of sour (a vinegar of your choice)
- 7 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or canola oil
- 1 round teaspoon of dijon or spicy mustard
- 1 teaspoon chopped or grated shallot or onion (or chopped green onions)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh parsley, or basil, or rosemary
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Fresh cracked pepper
- Splash of Worcesteshire sauce (optional)
- 1 ice cube (if mixing in a Ball canning jar)
- If mixing in a blender, combine all ingredients except oil.
- Cover the blender, leaving the opening cover loose so you can gradually add the oil blending as you add.
- Pour into a spouted serving container or into a covered storage container.
- Serve right away or chill first.
- If mixing in a Ball jar, combine all the ingredients, including the ice cube.
- Shake, shake, shake.
- Chill or serve over salad right away.
In Winter, I enjoy the dressing with tarragon vinegar and sugar. For the greens, I use spinach. For the protein, sliced London Broil and/or hard boiled egg pieces. Add pan sauteed mushrooms. Top with French’s fried onions. For a bit of color, toss in roasted beets. Need more, add a sprinkle of bacon.
In Spring, grilled salmon is the protein, wonton strips and slivered almonds provide the crunch. I like a white balsamic vinegar flavored with raspberry for the sour, honey for the sweet. Add mandarin oranges and chopped celery.
In summer, the protein is sauteed shrimp and some feta cheese. The greens are romaine. The crunch is chopped cucumber and pan sauteed corn fresh from the cob. For color add grape tomatoes, halved. The dressing is white vinegar, canola oil, and honey for the sour, oil, and sweet. If you can find Greek seasoning, use that for your herbs.
Lots of options! Be creative!
Bon Appetit in Jesus’s name.