Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Life Changing Recipe

Well. You know already that I recently received a giant box of fresh vegetables, and I suspect you can imagine that when one is facing such a box, one does not have weeks upon weeks to spend planning and eating. One must eat those vegetables promptly. They are leafy and springy and fresh and after just a few days, they aren't any of those things.

And so, I thought to myself - a salad! - would be a good solution. And so I made one - the lettuce, radishes, and purple scallions (plus some non-CSA-red onion) went towards this cause, and I tossed a hard boiled egg on top, as well. Unfortunately, I then remembered that every salad dressing I have ever purchased (up to and including the four that currently reside in my refrigerator) has fallen short of my expectations, even when I buy expensive dressings and organic dressings and dressings with fancy packaging. But then I remembered that when I'm furiously paging through my cookbooks with certain recipes in mind (pancakes, or white bean soup, or meatballs, or creamed spinach, say), I whiz past the dressings/sauces categories that are standing in my way. And so, I though to myself - a homemade dressing! - would be a good solution.

Which brings me to my point(s). Firstly, the Moosewood Cookbook is a thing of beauty, a sure path to success, and an essential part of my kitchen. Secondly, creamy homemade dressing (as directed by the Moosewood Cookbook) is ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS and TOTALLY EASY TO MAKE. Yes, I am that excited about this discovery. Oh, and thirdly - Elspeth, the better half of this blog partnership, gave me a handheld blender/mixer/puree-er thingy a few years ago as a gift, and it's a genius of a small appliance. Go get one. And then make this dressing.

Creamy Garlic Dressing
3 garlic cloves (I chopped up some of the CSA green garlic here)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 tsp salt (I used sea salt)
1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (I used the grocery store can stuff, and it was still awesome)
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 cup milk

Put everything but the milk into a blender (or into the little dressing-making-cup that comes with the handheld blender deal), and whirl for a couple seconds. Add the milk. Whirl a couple seconds more. Eat the dressing on everything in sight, because it's that good. And it'll only last a week or so, covered and refrigerated.

By the by, this dressing also got me through my entire bundle of spinach in two sittings. It's that good.


  1. I think creamy salad dressing is yick, in general. My regular salad dressing (that also does well if you make a larger amount in a jar or bottle, and keep it in the fridge):

    Finely chopped red onion/shallot/green onion/sweet onion/any kind of onion-y item, mixed with a big plop of strong grainy mustard and the vinegar of your choice (generally balsamic, for me) and some salt and pepper and garlic or any other dried or fresh herb-y/spice-y items you want. (You can also add a good spoonful of honey, or some citrus juice, a splash of soy sauce, or some other liquidy ingredient at this point.) Let it sit for a bit -- it takes the acidic edge off the raw onions this way and almost quick-pickles them. Whisk in olive oil until you have a vinaigrette consistency. And that's it.

    Melflor is also really good -- it's a sort-of-expensive honey-herbal mild vinegar. Usually easy enough to find in European grocery places - they might sell it at Whole Foods or something like that, too.

  2. Dear Anonymous:
    I'm sorry that you are missing out on the simple pleasures of creamy salad dressings. That's a shame. At least it seems like you have found a good alternative, which I will consider trying!