Theresa Loe is a freelance garden/culinary writer, book author and blogger who specializes in organic edible gardening and gardening with children. You can find her recipes and garden tips at www.gardenfreshliving.com.
I love salad, but I get bored with the same old salad dressings that come straight from a bottle. I like to make my own dressing and add fresh-from-the-garden ingredients. The flavor just can’t be beat. Below are two super simple recipes to get you started with your own salad experiments.
Making your own salad dressing is quick, easy and cost-effective! It is also a great way to experiment with herbs. You can easily substitute different herbs in the recipes below and get completely different results. For example, in the Blueberry Vinaigrette, try using salad burnet, chives or lemon verbena in place of the lemon balm. In the Rosemary Vinaigrette, you can substitute oregano, sage or summer savory for the rosemary. They all work! Have fun experimenting!
Blueberry Lemon Balm Vinaigrette
Tart blueberries and lemon balm are combined with a little sugar to create this tangy salad dressing. Just toss it over a green salad for a fruity delight. It works especially well over a fresh spinach salad.
• 1/3 cup fresh blueberries
• 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
• 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
• ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
• 20 fresh lemon balm leaves
• 1 tablespoon minced red onion
• 2 teaspoons sugar
• ½ teaspoon dry mustard
• ¼ cup canola oil
• Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a food processor, combine blueberries, vinegar, lemon juice, zest, and lemon balm leaves. Pulse the blade until the berries are finely chopped. Add the onion, sugar, and mustard. Process again until well combined.
2. Use a strainer to strain out the large skins and solids. Pour strained liquid back into the food processor bowl. (Any small bits of blueberry skins will just add to the flavor.) With the blade running, slowly pour in the oil until fully incorporated.
3. Add salt and pepper. Use with a fresh green salad and serve immediately.
Rosemary Balsamic Vinaigrette
The robust flavor of rosemary balances nicely with the sweet, woodsy taste of balsamic vinegar.
• 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 2 tablespoons honey
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 2 teaspoons freshly chopped rosemary
• 1 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
• 1 clove garlic, pressed
• Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a small glass jar, combine all ingredients except salt and pepper. Cover and shake until well combined.
2. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve over a green salad.
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