I love salad. And I’m not talkin’ about your basic cucumber and Ranch dressing concoction. Nosiree. I am a salad connoisseur. An artiste, if you will. And don’t worry, I’m not one of those ‘side salads will fill me right up at a restaurant’ kinda gals. Oh no. This girl can EAT. So when I say I love salads, it’s not because they’re all I eat. It’s because with the right ingredients and the perfect dressing, a salad can be as satisfying and delicious as any other meal. So, given my obsession with salad, I’m providing you with my Top 5 salad dressings. Try one out at your next function (Father’s Day BBQ maybe?) and let me know what you think.
The Best Dressing Ever
(appropriately named because it is THE best dressing ever and also came from my friend Regan who is one of the best people ever. So there.
1/4 C Red Wine Vinegar
3/4 C Canola Oil
3 Tbsp. Honey
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley (or 2 tsp. dried but fresh is always better)
1-2 cloves FRESH garlic, minced
a pinch of sea salt
shake it up and enjoy!
HERB TIP: There’s no denying that fresh herbs are the bomb, but yes, it’s annoying when all you need is a tiny little bit and they’re only sold in massive bunches. This is why I am in love with President’s Choice Fresh Frozen Herbs. First of all, they come in these adorable little milk baby milk carton type of containers (who doesn’t love cute packaging?) and secondly, they are literally fresh, chopped herbs that have been frozen in their loose state. So you just take them out of the freezer and shake whatever amount you need right into your recipe. I like them better than the tubes, or frozen cubes because they seem more authentic in their loose state and the flavour hasn’t been sacrificed at all. You can find them in the frozen aisle near the top where frozen veggies are, wherever PC products are sold.
Herbalicious Basil Vinaigrette
(I’m pretty sure this comes from Mashu Mashu, a Mediterranean restaurant in Toronto. It is freakin’ delicious)
1 Cup, tightly packed basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 tsp. each kosher salt and pepper
1/3 C olive oil
2 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Honey
1) Using a small hand blender, puree basil, garlic, salt and pepper
2) Pour in oil, honey and vinegar and puree everything until smooth
Damn, that’s good.
Who doesn’t love a Greek Salad? That’s right. No one. This is the perfect Greek (or other) vinaigrette. I think this comes from Second Helpings.
1 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
1 tsp. FRESH garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. pepper
6 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 tsp. Oregano
1/4 tsp. salt
Shake her up and go!
This recipe comes from my mother in law and is as much of a family heirloom as the ginormous chandelier in her dining room. Aside from my husband, my in-laws have given me so much to be thankful for. Not only do I have this dressing under my belt, but also my first experience with baby back ribs and my father in law’s secret ingredient barbecue sauce. The memories alone bring a tear to my eye…I never even liked Caesar salad before this dressing came into my life. Warning: Not a date night food. The garlic is pretty hardcore. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
1/2 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cloves, crushed FRESH garlic. Don’t be shy now, people…2, hell why not three
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1 Egg Yolk
2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp. dry mustard (yes, it’s a random ingredient but you will make this dressing often so just buy it)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 C Parmesan Cheese (grated – not the fancy from the cheese counter grater, the good old fashioned shaker kind)
Combine all ingredients together except the cheese. Add Parmesan just before serving.
This recipe is usually doubled or tripled because it makes an appearance at just about any family function on my husband’s side. The best way to mix it is in a new plastic bag, so the dressing gets all over. I know when I hear the sound of that massive bag shaking, full of garlicky lettucey goodness, it’s party time.
Okay. I know I said I’m all about the homemade dressings. And trust me, I am. But there is one store-bought dressing that is an absolute must have in my fridge, and it’s Renee’s Half the Fat Poppyseed Dressing. You can never go wrong with this bad boy either. Mmmm…