Best Vinaigrette to Grace a Salad Green{32}

Best Vinaigrette for any green salad

kale and arugula with delicious vinaigretteSimple salad heaven: vinaigrette drizzled over arugula and kale

I’ve traveled a circuitous culinary path in seeking vinaigrette variations of note, tasting and rejecting as many as I’ve enjoyed in the salad bar of life. My first venture into the dressing unknown came in the blue cheese realm at an early age as a guest at a friend’s house for supper. Poised with my best manners and crew cut pomade intact, I knew “No thank you, I don’t care for any” was not an option when in another family’s house (or my house for that matter).

Salad was served. At first I thought, yum, the iceberg lettuce is totally coated in Miracle Whip (It’s a southern thing). Then the first mouthful revealed a poison-like substance so pungent, so gym-sock smelling, that it was all I could do not to jettison it out of my mouth with the force of geyser. I couldn’t swallow the slime for it was surely toxic. With my mouth a plump pouch, I tried to manage the words, “May I be excused?  I have to use the bathroom.”  Of course, it came out more like “Mawah bree cused? Rye raft to ruse ra bafroom.”

head lettuce in the gardenHomegrown Boston bibb lettuce: the perfect vehicle for this simple vinaigrette

Door closed and safe, I spit out the gummy mess, and cupped my hand under the faucet to begin a rabid gargling session. Trying to wipe my tongue with rolled toilet paper proved a linty proposition, so I continued the faucet flush. Back at the table, my sister could see right through me but kept her silence. (Thank you Linda.) I used one of her tactics and scattered the salad about the plate, suggesting I had eaten most of it.  I survive that salad, and as an adult, I love blue cheese dressing, so there’s hope for us all.

These days as a sage salad eater, I keep it simple with a base dressing or vinaigrette that is easy to whip up and splash on. The recipe is from my friend Karen of La Biondo Farm. (And by the way Karen reached her Kickstarter goal thanks to kind and generous folks (thank you very much) and is having her mobile pizza oven built.

Karen’s Amazingly Simple, Equally Awesome Vinaigrette Recipe

best vinaigrette and only four ingredientsIt doesn’t get any easier; simply mix together:

  • 4 ounces of real maple syrup (4 tablespoons)
  • 4 ounces white balsamic vinegar (4 tablespoons)
  • 6 ounces extra virgin olive oil (6 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon stone-ground mustard
  • freshly ground pepper and kosher or sea salt to taste

olive oil vinegar maple syrup vinaigretteVigorously shake mixture in lidded bottle or jar until combined

homemade salad dressing vinaigretteSeconds later your salad is ready for the pour and toss.

best vinaigrette according to Boz and I

Boz is quick to point out (again) that olive oil on dog food promotes a shiny coat.

best vinaigrette best dressing Our friend Pat had a great idea: for a healthy snack, dip a whole lettuce or kale leaf in the vinaigrette and munch away on a guilt-free treat that’s good for you.

Customize your dressing. In the past, I’ve added or included (not all at once):

  • orange zest
  • anchovy paste
  • capers
  • pureed avocado
  • roasted peppers
  • crumbled blue cheese or feta
  • herbs de Provence
  • sherry vinegar

Enjoy! And thanks to Karen and Pat!