Monday, July 26, 2010

What's the big deal about salad dressing?

More often than not, when somebody comes over for a meal, asks for a recipe, and I provide it, I never hear that the person actually tried it. And very often it's because they expect it to be based on some processed food or mix. One day when I said I had finally arrived at the perfect cornbread recipe, an acquaintance asked, "What mix do you use?" Aaarrggh.

Well, today somebody said she'd made my Greek salad dressing, which I season proudly with not only dried oregano, but fresh oregano and fresh thyme from the planters on my deck. She said she was amazed at how easy it is to make your own salad dressing, and I'm tickled to have a convert away from those ghastly bottled dressings. Last night I was able to make a batch of my favorite sweet-and-sour Italian dressing in the actual time it took for the spaghetti water to come to a boil.

Greek Salad Dressing

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Juice of ½ lemon
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ tablespoon dried oregano
½ tablespoon fresh oregano
½ tablespoon fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper.

Mix first five ingredients. Add salt and pepper taste. Add fresh oregano and thyme the same day it will be served. If refrigerated, remove from fridge about a half-hour before serving and whisk or shake well.
To serve four people, double the recipe to cover about 1 to 1½ heads of Romaine plus a small bag of field greens, along with sliced red onion, cucumber, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and feta cheese.

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