Monday, February 25, 2008

Salad days part 1

During the summer, I gorge on fresh veggies. I could eat them roasted, grilled, raw whatever. Winter months bring sadness and gloom to me because there are so few fresh veggies available. (Yes, I know they bring them in, but once you get used to eating tomatoes from the summer months you can not touch one of those hard nasty tasteless things they stock on the shelves). I try to compensate with a lot of salads.

These salads become especially important when I look at the calendar and realize that we only have a few months until the days of baggy sweaters and jeans will vanish with the snow. I lost about 40 pounds a few years ago and I am still fearful of putting it back on again. Winter is particularly tough since it's harder to justify walking around the neighborhood when you are knee-deep in snow.

Anyway, back to the salads. We eat two core salads in this house - a caesar salad and a mixed greens salad. And it's really more that we have two core salad dressings, and the salad revolves around that.

Make salad dressing is such an easy thing. It does take a little longer than pulling a bottle out of the fridge, but the results are so much tastier, and I control what I'm putting into it. I have tried making a larger portion of salad dressing a couple days in advance, but have found that it loses too much of its flavor, so we're back to making it immediately before dinner.

Tonight's dressing is a honey-citrus-mustard dressing. It's very, very simple. It works best with mixed greens or something slightly on the bitter or tart side to compliment the sweetness from the honey. I probably wouldn't serve it on romaine or head lettuce.

Citrus-Honey dressing

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 tbls dijon mustard

1 tbls honey

about 3 tbls to a 1/4 cup citrus juice- we frequently use lime because it is what we always have in the house. I really like it with lemon, or even a lemon-orange mixture.

Mix the above together well.

Take a good bottle of olive oil and slowly drizzle it into the juice-mustard mixture, stirring constantly. An emulsion should form. I'm not quite sure how much olive oil I put in. It's not a whole lot.

This dressing is a re-creation of one I had down on a mixed green salad at Enormous U served with roasted veggies and cumin spiced black bean hummus (super, super good - I highly recommend the combination) . We also eat it with the above salad - mixed greens, onions, sundried tomatoes, sea salt and pepper. And homemade croutons.

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