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Dressing Up

May 12, 2010

Laura’s Blog Entry

Thanks for all the contest entries, everyone! Keep spreading the word – you have until May 17 to enter…

Since we are heading into salad season, it seems like a good time to post a few salad dressing recipes. Plus I promised my friend Melanie I’d type them up for her, so two birds with one stone!

Oh, before I forget – does anyone have a good homemade ranch dressing recipe? I’d love to make my own. Now, where was I? Oh yes…

First is a very tasty, sweet and tangy orange vinaigrette. Yum! Great on a salad with sliced strawberries and toasted almonds.

A few notes: I would not substitute green onions or regular onion for the shallots. Shallots have a mild, garlicy flavor that suits this recipe. You probably could substitute regular balsamic vinegar. It might end up sweeter. Red wine vinegar might be a better substitute, although I haven’t tried either of these substitutions myself.

Orange Vinaigrette

2 Tablespoons orange marmalade
1 Tablespoon minced shallots (approx. 1/2 a large shallot)
2 Tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (Trader Joe’s carries a nice one)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine marmalade and shallots. Cover with vented plastic wrap and cook in microwave on high for one minute. Stir in remaining ingredients.

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The second recipe is my go-to homemade vinaigrette. Basic and delicious. I find it tastes a lot like Dewey’s dressing on their house salad (the one with the dried cranberries and pine nuts). Dewey’s is a local gourmet pizza chain with THE BEST salads in the city.

Basic Vinaigrette

2 small cloves of garlic, pressed or minced finely
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper

Note: A small, flat sauce whisk works great for incorporating the oil. But you can shake it in a jar or use a food processor to emulsify the dressing.

Combine garlic, mustard and vinegar in a small bowl. Whisk together with a pinch of salt  and pepper. Drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly until dressing is combined into a thick emulsion.

Salad Dressing Tip: I find the creamer from a sugar and creamer set makes a great serving piece for salad dressing.

Now go eat your greens!

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