Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Herb Vinaigrette

Did you enjoy Laura's Watermelon and Avocado Salad Recipe yesterday? I can't wait to make it. I've been really enjoying my basil plant outside. It's so wonderful to be able to have food growing outside of my kitchen windows. It has been such a little blessing, making me feel more "at home". It was $12 all in all for my pot and soil and basil plant and now I have a huge bush of basil to pick off of whenever I so please. I use it everyday. It definitely is a win in the saving money department. If I was having to buy those little $4.99 rectangle containers of basil from the store, as much as I have been using it we would most likely be broke by now! Kidding, kind of. Today's post brings us to one of the ways I use basil (and really any herb I have laying around). I stopped buying store-bought salad dressings a long time ago-- not because of the chemicals and added sugars and low-fatness of it all, but because the taste of homemade salad dressing was so much better. Also, I could whip up some salad dressing whenever I needed it with ingredients I had on hand. This proved to be a much better waste-not solution for me. I don't have half bottles of dressing in my fridge, and I can just make however much we need whenever I need it. This also saves me money because it's a great way to use things I already have. I don't think I ever started with a recipe for salad dressings. I would just add oil, add some vinegar, sometimes some honey and a little stone ground mustard most of the time. I would taste until the ratio of oil and vinegar felt right to me. One day I subbed the honey and the stone ground mustard for herbs and garlic, and I've been doing that ever since. I often have some extra herbs laying around (or I will cut some rosemary off of someone's bush-- someone that I know-ish!). As you will see in a lot of my recipes, this is meant to be used loosely, as a sort of guide or idea. You make it what you want using what you have inside your house. Don't get worried it won't turn out right. Have fun experimenting and tasting as you go. Go with your instincts. Salad dressing is one of the easiest things to make! Seriously. If it tastes too bland add a little more vinegar and salt and pepper. If it tastes too tangy add a little more oil and salt and pepper. I find peoples' olive oil can even taste differently than others. So it's important to taste after you make this to see what yours may need. The sky is the limit! 

Herb Vinaigrette Recipe: 

3/4 Cup of Olive Oil 
1/2 of a lemon 
1tbsp. of apple cider vinegar
2 cloves of garlic 
2 handfuls of fresh herbs (Like I said, use what you have! Just pick a bunch of fresh herbs. I used basil and rosemary in this batch. I would say the total amount would be 1/4 of a cup. Use whatever amount you have though, even if it's less than that. I wouldn't use more than 1/3 of a cup though. You can also use dried herbs, but of course the taste will be different.) 
1/2 teaspoon of salt 
A sprinkle or two of cayenne pepper 

I put all of these ingredients into my Blendtec Blender and I pulse a few times over and over until it emulsifies. I realize traditionally you are supposed to slowly pour in the oil, but I find that with this recipe that isn't necessary. I just put all of the ingredients into my blendtec and pulse for a few seconds at a time, a few times over and over (maybe 9 times all in all). Then I taste. I see if it needs a little salt, a splash more of vinegar, or what not. You can pour this over a salad as I did below, or you can pour this over roasted beets, roasted carrots, or even drizzled over roasted chicken. If you're not going to be using it right away it keeps well in a mason jar in the fridge. Just let it sit room temperature and shake for a little while before you use it. It's delicious any which way! Enjoy! 

P.S. This recipe is also Candida Friendly

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