That time of year

Chef Rouler's herb and lettuce bed

It’s that time of year when the lettuce sets are almost done, lettuce seed planting #1 is in full swing and #2 is close to harvest.  SALAD EVERY NIGHT !!  If we could only figure out how to get Garden Tomatoes ripe by June in Michigan, it would be heaven. If you’re like me, you get bored with the samo, samo salad dressing(s), so here in lies the lesson for you foodies.

 Quick Questions: 1) How many bottled dressings do you have in your refrigerator  2) How many of them are past their code dates?  3) How many different kinds of vinegar do you have in your pantry?4) How many different kinds of oil?

 Currently, I have five(5) vinegars in my pantry and three oils.  The simple solution, make your own dressing!  It’s fresh, can be different every meal, MUCH less expensive than the bottled variety AND you’ll feel like a Foodie every night as you experiment with flavors.   I also have an abundance of fresh herbs, so they either go in the greens mix or in the dressing.

Simple rule of thumb is One Part Acid to Three Parts Oil.  Be it Tbsp or 1/4 Cups it’s still 1 to 3.  Personal taste will dictate more or less acid and should you want another flavor to dominate the taste, a 1 to 4 ratio works better.

HOW TO

Let’s start with the base:  2 Tbsp Vinegar, 6 Tbsp Oil, Salt, Fresh Ground Pepper, Crushed clove of garlic optional.  This is plenty for one night’s salad.

Now, what do you feel like?  Raspberry (got preserves), Honey & Mustard, Italian (Oregano, Basil), Caesar: one egg , Parmesan cheese and anchovies.   No anchovies? Bet you have Asian Fish Sauce   Read the ingredients, Anchovy extract, salt, sugar, contains FISH. 

 Also use sesame oil, fresh ginger and soy sauce for Asian flavorings.  South of the Border: Cilantro and Lime juice as acid.  Lighter flavor to go with a herb (Dill, Oregano, Tarragon, Rosemary) sub lemon juice for vinegar.

 I like the Italian sweet red wine vinegar dressing too.  Reverse the ratio 3 part vinegar, 1 part oil and add sugar until you balance the acidity to a just tart level: 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and 2-3 Tbsp of sugar.  Add fresh basil or oregano and take it to another level.

That’s a start, should get your dressings flowing. So endith the lesson for today.

Bon Appetit and Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

 

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