Friday, April 15, 2011

My First Salad Dressing

It must have been in college that I made my first homemade salad dressing.  My aunt gave me the ingredients and I experimented to get the right taste.  It has remained one of my go to salad dressings and salads for just about any occasion.  It would pair very nicely with my first recipe committed to memory, also learned in my early college days from another family member.  I hope to post that recipe next week.

This salad has a bit of mediterranean flair, but as mentioned previously it goes well with just about everything!  We just had it for dinner tonight along with fish and a baked sweet potato.  I also used the dressing on my salad for lunch with some left-over gyro meat.  When the weather was nice a week or so ago I paired this salad with some grilled chicken.

I'll try to give you some measurements, but I still just make it to taste.  The basic ratio for making your own vinaigrette is 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar.  I rarely buy salad dressing as homemade tastes so much better, doesn't have any additional preservatives or strange chemicals, is very cheap to make, and seriously so easy!

Garlic Basil Vinaigrette

1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 cup Cider Vinegar
1 - 2 crushed garlic cloves
1 tsp dried basil
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a sealed/pourable container, shake to combine and pour over salads as desired.

Ideal Salad Components:
mixed greens and/or spinach
olives (black or kalamata)
feta cheese

The trickiest part is finding a good sealable/pourable container for dressings.  If anyone has any recommendations, let me know.  I've tried several things, but all of them leak down the spout side.  I often just use a canning jar as everything else leaks anyways.  Store in the refrigerator, let come up to room temp when you want to use it (the oil will likely harden) or zap it in the microwave for 10 seconds or so.

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