Friday, July 16, 2010

Lemon vinaigrette

I honestly detest most store-bought bottled salad dressings. I find them too sweet, too gloopy, and frankly, what the hell is fat-free salad dressing made of, anyway? I don't think that my salad needs guar gum, so a few years ago, I learned how to make salad dressings myself.

I hate to admit, but part of the decision stemmed from watching Rachael Ray do it on her 30 minute cooking show...before she got all weird and crazy, tipping people pennies to make her $40/day deadlines. But, I digress.

This salad dressing was so good, even my mom took note. Evidently it was just like a salad dressing she enjoyed at a small local cafe across the street from where she worked. It's very simple, and honestly, there is no recipe. But that's pretty normal for me!

Here is the basic premise for my lemon vinaigrette:

3 parts olive oil
1 part lemon juice (fresh!)
About a tsp of good dijon
S&P to taste

Pour these things in a large bowl, whisk or stir together until emulsified. The mustard helps with that. It isn't totally necessary, but I like the twang it adds.

Lemon = tang
Dijon = twang

Since I did this in a large bowl, next I throw in my spinach leaves, or whatever green I'm using, on top of the dressing. Tonight, I threw my chopped up tomatoes in first so they could really soak in the salt and tastiness (we all know how tomatoes love salt...and I love tomatoes and salt so this is perfect) and the spinach on top. I find it much easier to throw this all in a bowl and toss from underneath.

The number one rule here is DO NOT OVERDRESS OR UNDERDRESS YOUR SALAD. You want a light coating, but not dripping.

That's all I did tonight. I've done balsamic, red wine vinegar, and other citrus dressings this way. It's very simple, and very tasty. Once in awhile it will be a bit too sour for my taste, and I'll sprinkle in just a little honey or sugar to take the edge off, but not nearly as much as you'll find in your supermarket bottled brand.

Sorry no picture! I'm lazy. It's tasty, though! Tonight, I'm serving this spinach salad alongside some salmon croquettes and some crowder peas.

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