Saturday, February 13, 2016

Zesty Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette

If you're going to be eating a lot of salads you have got to keep them interesting. Got to. Salad dressing is fun because there are so many different flavors to choose from.

Full disclosure: there's always a bottle of Ken's Ranch Dressing in my refrigerator (...and an unopened bottle in my pantry as back-up). Hey, the man knew his way around a salad bowl!

But I also like to whip up my own dressings. This Zesty Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette is an old favorite. It's simple and delicious. Enjoy it with a simple romaine and tomato salad or drizzle it over some fresh spinach leaves. It also makes a lovely Greek or Mediterranean salad dressing.

If you're feeling zesty yourself, substitute another dried herb for the oregano. See how you like parsley, rosemary, marjoram, or basil. Have fun with it.

My tip to you: If you're not doing so already, start stocking your pantry with dried herbs, spices, seasonings, vinegars and such. That way you will have everything you need when you want to make a marinade or dressing. It's so wonderful when you find a recipe that you want to make and you realize that you already have everything you need to make it. 

Look for sales on spices at the grocery store. The more expensive brands, usually packaged in glass bottles, are great. Quality ingredients = quality food. But if your grocery budget is tight you can purchase inexpensive generic brands at grocery stores, drug stores or the dollar store. Better yet, buy a spice rack so you will have some basic spices to work with. Buy spices that you've never tried before and search for recipes that call for those new spices. 

I also recommend buying a good brand (I use Christopher Ranch) of minced garlic to keep in your refrigerator, especially if you're a garlic lover like me. (If I hand-minced all the garlic I use in a typical week I'd have carpal tunnel!) Lemon juice concentrate and lime juice concentrate are two other staples in my refrigerator.

Have fun!

Zesty Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette

Yield: 4 servings (2 Tbsp servings)

6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 Teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 Teaspoon salt
1 Clove garlic, minced 
1/2 Teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 Teaspoon ground pepper

1. Whisk all ingredients together. Pour over your salad.

2. Now wasn't that easy? 

3. Be sure to shake/whisk before pouring on your salad, as the oil and other liquids will separate. Store in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 2 days.

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