Dress Up Your Salad

September 21, 2012

Homemade vinaigrettes are apparently all the rage these days.  Who knew I was ahead of the trend?  I’ve been making them for a while now and the flavor of a homemade dressing simply cannot be beat.  You can mix up the flavors with different kinds of vinegar, herbs and sweeteners.  My favorite is Balsamic Vinegar, but I’ve also used Raspberry Vinegar, Tarragon Vinegar and Red Wine Vinegar.  Fresh thyme is my go-to herb and I go back and forth between brown sugar and agave nectar to sweeten things up.  No matter what, garlic is always involved, as is a little salt and pepper.  I’ve also been known to sub citrus for the vinegar/acidity, so you can make a lemon or lime vinaigrette and even Dijon mustard can make a tasty appearance now and again.

Everyone has a different theory on the ratio that should be used.  I like to go 50/50 with oil/acid.  However, a lot of recipes call for three parts oil to one part vinegar.  It really depends on how you prefer the “tangy-ness” of your dressing, so feel free to play around with the ratios and go with what suits your palate best!
Do you make vinaigrettes at home?  If so, what’s your favorite ingredients to toss in and what ratio do you go by?

BeFunky Warming on iPhone

Always served best in a good ‘ol southern Mason Jar

Basic Vinaigrette

printable recipe

  • 1 cup evoo
  • 1 cup vinegar (I used ½ cup balsamic and ½ cup raspberry)
  • 1 tbs, fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbs agave nectar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients in a Mason Jar, top with the lid, and shake.  Serve immediately or keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.


Just Beet It

December 15, 2011

I may have mentioned that I adore Hugh Acheson.  As a UGA alum, I remember when he opened Five & Ten and I fell in love with his perspective on supporting local produce just a few weeks ago.  Not to mention his beet and carrot salad.  I tweaked the original recipe a bit by roasting the veggies and subbing cilantro for parsley and it still made for a delicious side for the Bison Burgers we had for dinner last night.

Roasted Beet and Carrot Salad

Printable Recipe

For the salad

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound organic carrots, sliced
  • 2  beets, cleaned but not peeled
  • ¼ pound goat cheese
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup Cumin Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
  • 1 cup pulled fresh cilantro leaves

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Lay out a sheet of aluminum foil and wrap the beets and carrots with it after drizzling with evoo and salt and pepper.  Roast for about 45 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.

After the beets cool, peel them using paper towels to rub off the skin. This is easier when they are still warm. Chop the carrots and mix in a bowl with chopped beets.  Crumble the goat cheese on top and set aside.

Add 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette and ½ cup of the cilantro to the beets and carrots and toss. Add 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette, the remaining cilantro and toss. Drizzle with a touch more of the vinaigrette.

For the vinaigrette

Makes ¾ cup

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted in a dry pan and then pulverized
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the Dijon mustard in a bowl and whisk in the olive oil, then the lemon juice and the sherry vinegar. Add the cumin and the mint. Season with salt and pepper to taste. The vinaigrette will last for 10 days in the fridge.