Have you seen those salad dressing bottles with recipes printed on the sides? You add ingredients up to the fill lines, shake to combine, and viola - salad dressing! A fun idea, for sure, but who wants to stick to basic pre-printed recipes? Making your own is easier than you think.
In my month of salads, I don't know where I'd be without my go-to Italian dressing. Sometimes, the simple things are the best things. With a bottle of this in the fridge, I reach for leafy greens as my late-night snack.
This dressing is based off The Dad's Italian vinaigrette, which perhaps adds to my fondness for it. It's simple to make, and easy to adapt.
Once you have the recipe to your liking, making a mixer bottle is simple. Any bottle will do, from glass pours to plastic squeeze. One of the best and easiest containers are pint-sized mason jars - perfect for shaking and storing. You'll also need a fine-tipped permanent marker. That's it!
Beginning with the dry, add the ingredients one at a time to your container. After each, make a mark on the side indicating how much the ingredient fills the bottle. Add the next ingredient, and make another mark - and so on. Be sure to label each mark with what, and how much. Shake it up, and you're good to go! You can even use the same bottle or jar, and label a different recipe on each side.
Simple vinaigrettes like this are perfect for shake-and-serve. With a base of quality oil and vinegar, it's hard to go wrong.
Go-To Italian Dressing
Adapted from My Dad
Makes ~ 1 1/2 cups
1 TBSP dried oregano*
1 TBSP dried basil
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. dried mustard powder
1 TBSP honey (or substitute sugar)
1/3 cup red or white wine vinegar
1 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil
pinch of cayenne, to taste (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste
*Dried herbs can be substituted with up to twice the amount of fresh, chopped.
Add all ingredients to a jar, bottle, or other lidded container. Shake well. Best served after sitting in the fridge overnight to allow the flavors to mingle. Shake before serving.
While I'm digging into my simple bowl of tossed greens and Italian vinaigrette, I thought it would be fun to do a recap of salads I've shared in the past year - surprisingly, there aren't very many. Considering my obsession with salads, it's about time I take a moment to celebrate them!
Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna Salad*
This is one of my favorite salads, and is hard to find done well. Be sure to use sashimi grade fish if you plan to serve it rare!
Sprouted Quinoa Salad - raw and vegan
Highlighting raw, natural superfoods, this salad demonstrates how easy it is to sprout your own quinoa.
Beet Root Salad with Cranberry-Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette - vegan
I can still remember the flavors of this salad perfectly. The Boyfriend and I are both big fans of beets, and they add such a lovely sweetness to salads. The dressing was an off-beat, off-the-cuff recipe that neither of us could get enough of!
Shaved Fennel and Smoked Salmon Salad, with deviled Quail Eggs
Spending an entire day finding new and interesting ways to use quail eggs, I came up with this simple little side. The flavors are bold and assertive, but aren't everyone's cup of tea. For those who enjoy fennel, this is a great accompaniment to any meal.
I've always liked tuna salads, not only as a quick and easy lunch but as a great source of protein. Here I found two ways to boost the nutrients, and exclude the mayo!
*Since the Fukushima radiation in Japan last year, some tuna has been found to have elevated levels of radiation. Reports say the level of radiation found thus far in tuna caught in the Pacific is well below any harmful amount, but it may be wise to take caution in where your fish comes from.