Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Kyleigh’s All-Time Favorite Salad Dressing...

Some days all I want is a big green salad. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it doesn’t have to be elaborate. Some lettuce, onion, and maybe a bit of tomato or some dried cranberries will do, with a light sweet garlicky vinaigrette. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love all those big honkin’ salads that are complete meals in themselves and contain upwards of fifty ingredients, but when I’m really craving greens, I go for simple more often then not, and while I love all those rich, elaborate, and creamy salad dressings too a lot of times I just want a dressing that tastes ‘clean’ without having to sacrifice on flavor.

This is the perfect summer salad in my opinion, clean and simple, but it’s also the perfect winter salad. It’s great for serving alongside heavier meals like Spaghetti and bean balls, in rich tomato sauce, or for serving next to a big ‘ole bowl of chili, or as a component to a large holiday dinner such as Thanksgiving. It’s a great starter salad, because it’s so delicious, yet it’s flavor won’t overwhelm the main course.

When I first ditched bottled salad dressing’s - years ago, before I ever went vegan or vegetarian - this was the first homemade dressing I came up with, and it was a hit with everyone. Since the day I first served a salad with this dressing to someone other then my husband I have been frequently told by people that they ‘love my salads’ and that I ‘make the best salads’ I don’t know about that, but it’s nice knowing that I’m at least capable of making something satisfying that a wide range of people can enjoy and appreciate. I hope you enjoy this simple dressing too.

Kyleigh’s All-Time Favorite Salad Dressing

4-6 Garlic Cloves
7 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Red Raspberry Vinegar
1-2 Tbsp Water - to thin and dilute as needed.
1 tsp Sugar - more or less to taste
A pinch of Black Pepper, Dried Basil, and Dried Oregano to taste

- Heat a dry skillet over medium heat until hot. Add the garlic cloves and toast until golden brown on both sides, stirring frequently to prevent the garlic from burning or sticking.

- Remove the garlic from the pan and place in a food processor. Add Oil, Vinegar, sugar, and spices. Blend until completely smooth. Taste for flavor and then add water as needed, adjusting oil, vinegar and spices as you see fit.

- Pour over a a big ‘ole green salad and enjoy!

PS: You could use this dressing on virtually any kind of salad but my favorite types of greens to use with this dressing are Bibb, Green Leaf, Romaine, Iceberg and Spinach. Typically I use Romaine more often then not. You also have an endless amount of ‘add-in’ options such as tomato, red onion, green onion, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, olives,  bell pepper, red cabbage, chopped veggies, apples, pears etc.. though I like to keep it simple leaving it around 3-4 ingredients at most.

PPS: If you like you can make this sugar-free by leaving out the sugar, or by adding in another mild flavored sweetener of your choice. 

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