Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Balsamic Vinegarette Salad Dressing

If you've been following my Valentine's Day Menu, you'll realize that there's one more main dish we haven't covered – the green salad. You could buy a ready made salad from the produce section of your store, if you wanted to, but I prefer making my own.

A green salad can be composed of just about any leafy vegetable you like. I like to combine chopped romaine and green lettuce, or iceburg lettuce. Adding a but of thinly cut green or red cabbage can add a little sparkle, too. Fresh spinach is great, too.

Next, you want to add a few other fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and nuts, just to spice things up. Shredded carrot, thinly sliced cucumber or celery, sliced tomatoes, almond slices, hulled sunflower seeds, raisins, dried cranberries ... whatever you like. Thin slices of oranges can be a great addition, as well.

A fresh Italian vinegarette dressing, tossed with the salad, is a wonderful compliment the the spaghetti marinara. Here's a nice balsamic vinegrarette that one I came up with one day. I think it's sweet enough without the added sugar, but some may disagree.


1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


Combined all the ingredients in a jar with a screw top lid. Cover and shake well. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Shake before serving or tossing with the green salad.

I hope you've enjoyed this Valentine's day menu.

Happy Valentines Day, to one and all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi John.
I am working on a cookbook with a major American foodwriter and am trying to get a hold of Mormons who are great home cooks. In a nutshell, we are painting a vast portrait of America through its home cooks and are trying to get in touch with practicing Mormons who would be willing to share their recipes and personal stories. We are trying to connect with 2 or 3 Mormons who love food and cook well. In a perfect world, these folks would be able to trace their lineage back to the West migration. Hopefully they have recipes handed down, as genealogy seems to be significant in the tradition. We suspect food must be a part of this. This will help us put forth an encapsulated version of the tradition. Please let me know if you can assist me, or perhaps direct me to an appropriate source. Thank you! Kate- ksonders@yahoo.com