Monday, June 28, 2010

Salad days

I was recently at a small family event.  You know the type I mean, the ones you go to through familial obligations, in addition to the knowledge  that the person hosting it is kind-hearted.  Hostess served coldcuts, potato salad and cole slaw from the deli section at her local grocery store, a green salad.  Then she placed four bottles of salad dressings on the table.

Maybe you do too.  If so, may I encourage you to try something else?

Easy vinaigrette:

One part red or white wine or balsamic vinegar.
Salt, pepper, dry mustard, dried tarragon to taste.
Optional: fresh tarragon, thyme, parsley, basil.

Six parts olive oil.   Add everything in a jelly jar (or in our case, a glass peanut butter jar)
Screw the lid back on.  Shake.  Instant dressing.

My current favorite:

In above mentioned jar add a dollop of Dijon, a teaspoon to a tablespoon.  Add a splash of red wine vinegar (about a third of the amount of mustard).  Stir with a fork until well-blended.  Add salt, pepper, more tarragon.  While mixing in with a fork, add four parts olive oil.  Fabulous.

Craving blue cheese?  
Salt and pepper a tablespoon of red wine vinegar in your salad bowl.  Mash 4 ounces of blue cheese into it, and a quarter cup, or more, of your favorite olive oil.  Add greens and mix.
Trust me, between these three you should never have to buy the bottled stuff again.

You're welcome.  And your guests will thank you. (Especially if that guest is me).


  1. I like the sound of that blue cheese dressing. Sounds so much better than the creamy stuff.

  2. I can only assume the party in question does not read your blog.

    (Biggest crime of all: Bottled Caesar.)

  3. Biggest crime of all: Calling anything mixed with mayo a salad.

  4. M: heh, that's what I grew up on!
    AH: That is correct, along with 6 billion others-
    S: Lemme know if you try it!

  5. I gave up on bottled dressing a long time ago - check out all those weird ingredients on the bottles! It's way too easy, cheap, and tasty. Good ideas . . . I haven't made one with tarragon in a long time.

  6. bec: Yah, all those craaazy ingredients gives one pause

  7. It could almost have been my party. Almost.

    How long will these keep? Can I make a batch ahead of time?

  8. They keep easily a few days to a week, so yes, you could make them ahead of time!