Saturday, September 1, 2007

Salad Dressing, and the best Salad I Ever Had

Most of the commercial salad dressings in the U.S. have soy oil in them, or are labeled something like "canola and/or soy oil." So we make our own. Besides, it's cheaper (I'm from New England, remember?)

Good Seasons packets have no soy--I called and asked--and, if you make it with pure extra-virgin olive oil and red-wine vinegar, it's pretty good. So that's our staple. Here's another good one that I learned from my landlady when I lived in France:

French vinaigrette

1 Tbs red-wine vinegar
3 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs (approximately) grainy mustard
salt and pepper

Whisk in the bottom of the salad bowl and put the salad on top. Mix.

The best salad I ever had was just Belgian endive, walnuts, bleu cheese, and vinaigrette. They serv it as an appetizer. But I add romaine to the mix and serve it as a regular salad.

Belgian Endive Salad

1 small head romaine, in bite-sized pieces
2 Belgian endive, cut crosswise into 1/2" - 3/4" strips
2 oz crumbled bleu cheese (or more)
a couple of handfuls of walnut pieces (1/2 cup?)
French vinaigrette, above

Follow directions for the French vinaigrette, making the dressing on the bottom of the salad bowl first.

Serves 4

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