Monday, January 14, 2013

Katie's Salad Dressing & Simple Salad Rules

After a weekend of learning HTML (or is it CSS?) as a new blogger it's time to return to the original intent of this blog: my daily dinner habits offered up to the bride and groom to be, Bree and Brad.  But alas, blogs and the Constitution are living documents, and this project has evolved into much more than that.  I'm no strict constructionist, so if you aren't Bree or Brad, read on...

Once Garrett lovingly observed that when it came to holiday dinners and family meals my aunts only cooked "brown things."  Granted, those brown things are traditional and delicious, but he had a point.

Then, my sister Katie began getting the "salad assignment" and changed everything.

My family raves about her dressing.  Now, the kinishes, kishke, and kugel are complimented by the fresh acidity of red wine vinegar and lemon on top of green things.  But I think it's the garlic that wins their hearts.  Cultural syncretism at its finest.   Ahhhmerica.

But before we go further, I must state my Simple Salad Rules:
  1. No Iceberg allowed.
  2. Hold the cheese and any crouton, tortilla strip, or chinese noodle.
  3. 1 tablespoon of dressing per serving, max.
  4. It's not a side dish, it's a meal.
  5. Most importantly: Dress the toppings, not the whole salad.
At the end of the day, salads really shouldn't need a dumping of oily, salty dressing if they have the right components.  Every ingredient should be prepared so it combines to produce the right texture and flavor as a complete meal.  So, in this case I'm dressing my Holy Trinity of toppings - cucumber, cherry tomato, and kalamatas - and adding chickpeas for protein.  Grilled chicken would also be ideal, as it adds texture and moisture without requiring any additional dressing.  Placed on a bed of peppery arugula, it's a very nice healthy dinner.

Dresssing (this would produce enough to feed a Passover-sized meal, so adjust accordingly):
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 cloves freshly minced garlic
  • Chopped basil to taste
The dressing improves over time as the garlic infuses into the oil.  Make more than you need and store it in the fridge.

Toppings for two servings:
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives
  • 1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
Mix the toppings, stir in 2 tablespoons of the dressing. Toss in arugula (or mixed greens).  Enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad it's turned into this! What a shame if only Brad and I had the pleasure of making your dinners.