Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Basics: House Vinaigrette

I've often thought of salad as something to fill that spot in a menu that calls for something green, as in "protein, starch, green vegetable." It's perfect for a dinner party, since it takes almost no prep other than tearing up leaves in a bowl, drizzling a bit of olive oil and vinegar and sprinkling some salt. Done.

Though there are those times when I'll get a hankering for a salad of radicchio with a creamy Caesar-like dressing, or the classic Caesar itself with spears of crunchy romaine. But the go-to dressing around here is a simple mustard vinaigrette that takes all of five minutes to toss together and gets raves every time. (Just don't let anyone see how easy it is.)

Simple Mustard Vinaigrette

1/2 c. olive oil
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste

Take any tightly lidded container (I often use a leftover [clean] salsa container), put all the ingredients into it, put on the lid and shake like the dickens over the sink, in case, as once happened, the lid wasn't as tight as I thought and I ended up dressing the kitchen instead of the salad.

Read more recipes in The Basics series: 20 Minute Tomato Sauce, Chile Sauce, Caesar Salad and Strata.

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