August 1, is when many gardeners begin thinking about their second crop, or in my case have planted vegetables to harvest in September to October. Arugula, lettuce, and Swiss chard come to mind, and are vegetables I have planted in my garden the first week of August.
I yearn for a repeat of the spring salad greens, and it is still time to enjoy garden salads for at least the next 7-8 weeks here in the Mid Atlantic region. So, my thoughts are this might be a good time to share my vinaigrette dressing recipe in anticipation of garden-salad greens.
It is rather odd to speak of salad dressing as a recipe because it varies each time I make it. Still, there is a basic concept. The companion video (double click on “video” to view it on YouTube) linked to this blog of me making this salad dressing is only a guide. Allow your own taste to dictate how much of any one ingredient to use while following this guide.
Vary the ingredients and let me know what works best for you. If you start with the best ingredients, then it is hard to drift far from making a delightful salad dressing. I prefer extra virgin olive oil, choice red wine vinegar, and fresh garlic. I am lucky to have nearby Trinacria Macaroni Works–a deli, Italian foods, wine, beer, and spirits, where I buy ingredients not only for my salad dressing, but for many dishes I will share with you on this blog.
I recall the words of Chris Vitiello who writes about poets living in North Carolina area who write about cooking. “Recipes are much like magic spells,” Chris writes, “if you think about it: They consist of words that conjure things up.” Here’s hoping that this guide conjures up your own magical salad dressing.
Tips: (the vinegar (lemon) to oil ratio is 1 to 3 respectively)
Grey Poupon is my choice for Dijon mustard because of the white wine that is added to the mix. It gives just the right amount of sweetness to the vinaigrette.
This is my recipe and the yield varies according to what taste best for you in terms of vinegar to oil. Try this recipe first and then you can improvise, but tell how you have modified it.
- 1/3 cups champagne vinegar (or Lemon Juice; a combination of the two is great).
- 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2/3 cups Olive Oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasonings (heaping)
- 1/2 bulb 6-8 cloves of garlic
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- Using garlic presser, press the garlic and add the champagne vinegar (or lemon juice or a combination of the two) and mix until it is a paste.
- Add the Italian seasonings and pepper continue to blend.
- Add the mustard
- Add the champagne vinegar
- Place all ingredients with oil in large jar with lid -- I normally use an almost empty Dijon Mustard jar so that I can get the very last drop of unused mustard.
- Add olive oil gradually, use wire whisk to combine, or add all ingredients to jar and shake. Adjust the ratio of oil to vinegar to your taste.