Pass the Salad
Jul. 2, 2012 9:34 pm
Updated: Jul. 10, 2012 10:30 am
I've only recently begun thinking about making my own salad dressings... I've never
really read the labels on the bottles of my "fav" flavors, frankly because I think I'd pour them all down the drain with all of the chemicals etc. that are added to bottled dressings. So, true to my weekly "norm," I recently read an article in the
Food Section of the paper, all about making salad dressings, how to, adding "extra" ingredients, shelf life, and the like.
Now, you can imagine that now summer has hit the desert, I'm not craving all sorts of baked side dishes, not to mention that the fresh produce is beginning to "go on sale" at the local markets. I happen to have an abundance of lettuce right now, today I picked
up a couple of tomatoes (broke my heart at the price, but I wanted tomato!) I still have some of the "Zukes" or "mini seedless cucumbers" in the frige... grate some carrot, shred a little cabbage, and chop some celery... what more could I ask for?
Not only did the paper list a number of vinegarettes, but also some "cream" style dressings. The first suggestion that I've taken to heart is, to only make the amount that you will be using within a few days. Next, was that vinegar should be stored in a "cool
dark" cabinet... So much for my seven varieties sitting in a pantry cupboard, behind a frosted glass door, and directly beneath a skylight! Choosing a new spot and subsequently moving the bottles followed later that day! "Who Knew?"
I've also, in times past, enjoyed a dressing of (I believe,) juice of a fruit - like lemon juice, and oil... Or perhaps if I add dried fruit to a "salad," I could use a "sweetish" fruit based dressing, rather than the "tart" of a vinegar based... I do, however,
need to learn more about the different flavors of vinegars... I once used balsamic in a recipe, and totally did not enjoy the dish... Too much, perhaps, or "cheap" vinegar? I don't have the answer... YET, anyway!
My one pitfall regarding salad dressings, after 30 years of turning my nose up to it, is Blue Cheese, and my dear friend who had a "secret" recipe for making his own, took that to the grave with him... How dare he NOT share? Of course, his recipe which he
kept since a young man working as a bus boy in a CA restaurant, made enough to last 30 households for 2 years! He had, however cut the recipe down... and truly it
WAS the best that I think I've ever eaten!
So, once again, the Wed. Food Section of our local paper has provided me with a wealth of information! I wonder, with this Wed being the 4th, if there will be a food section, grocery ads, and the like... I can only hope!
After keeping a dozen or so bottles of store bought dressings in the frige, so that we'd have an assortment at any given time, or that if we were entertaining, I could offer guests a variety, I do believe that I may use up the few bottles left, and then make
simply one dressing, planning on dumping the remainder after no more than a week. It is, afterall, salad season! Find an "all purpose" light dressing, and simply call that "good" for the most point! Seasonings could always be added the following day, to
give it a new "twist."
So, with the arrival of "summer" most of the way across the United States (from what I'm seeing on the weather,) I do believe it's time for all of us to slow down, and rely on the almighty salad as a side dish! No HEAT required the the preparation! On tomorrow's
agenda, is to make a batch of coleslaw, thinking for the 4th, but might just find it's way onto the table tomorrow evening...
Let's be happy, be healthy, and (not) cook "too" crazy, but still crazy!