Saturday, January 23, 2010

Homemade Salad Dressings

I love homemade dressings. I hardly ever buy them at the store anymore because of the wide variety of fresh ingredients available to make delicious and easy dressings from scratch. Here are a few that I make often. I especially love to use the Champagne Vinaigrette on harvest salad or a fruit salad.
Champagne Vinaigrette

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon minced shallot or green onion

2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar

1 teaspoon best-quality sherry wine vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher or sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley

Mix all of the ingredients above in a dressing shaker.

I also crave the chopped salad at Portillo’s. I often get through a week by making it and using for a variety of meals as a main dish or a side.

I use chopped romaine & iceberg lettuce mixed with Ditalini pasta (gives the salad a little body), chicken, bacon, tomato, red cabbage, Gorgonzola cheese, green onion. I will of course vary my ingredients by the vegetables I have in my refrigerator that I need to use up. I chop them all up into little tiny pieces.

A big Tupperware container will keep fresh for about a week. Top with a Sweet Italian Dressing.

Sweet Italian House Dressing

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon oregano

Bon Appetit!

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

Place vinegar, garlic, sugar, oregano, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor. While the machine is running, slowly drizzle olive oil through the blender top or feed tube until dressing is combined and emulsified. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to two weeks.

I know it’s not on your diet list, but this homemade Blue Cheese dressing is delicious. You can lighten it up by using low fat or no fat mayo.

Blue Cheese Dressing

1 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons buttermilk

3 tablespoon crumbled blue cheese

1/8 teaspoon fresh coarse ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon onion powder

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Mix all ingredients. Serve cold.

Basic Italian Dressing

1 Cup Olive Oil

½ Cup Vinegar

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 clove garlic

1 tsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. dry mustard

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1/4 tsp. dried basil

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Blend all ingredients

Bon Appetit!