I feel a strange need to prove to people that I actually do love salad, and not that I am trying to be healthy (definitely not the case). Inevitably I will share an anecdote to lend a little weight to my claim. Well… I only have one story. When I was younger and my sister and I were visiting our grandparents for the week, Grandma told me that I could have anything I wanted for breakfast. Cake, ice cream, anything. I opted for salad. She looked at me like I had 2 heads, and promptly pulled the lettuce out of the fridge. Aren’t grandmas the best? But there you have it. I crave salad, and it’s been a longstanding love affair.
This brings up a couple of key questions. Why is this the first time I’ve attempted homemade salad dressing? How did I not realize that it was so easy? What have I been waiting for? Then, when I first started researching recipes for balsamic vinaigrette, which has my highest esteem as far as dressings go, I realized I had all of the ingredients at home already. The shame.
Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette (adapted from Chinese Grandma’s recipe)
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 garlic clove, minced (roughly 1/2 teaspoon)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
That’s a good looking jug of balsamic, isn’t it?
Start by mixing honey, mustard, salt, pepper and garlic. You could definitely do this in a food processor, but I whisked by hand.
Whisk in the balsamic. If your arm is getting tired at this point, you’re in trouble.
Whisk in the olive oil a bit at the time until fully incorporated. The dressing should emulsify and won’t have a watery consistency. You may have to use some muscle.
I swear that’s thicker than it photographs. Pour into a jar and store in the refrigerator.
You could put this dressing on so much more than salad. Drizzle over your favorite vegetables, put it on some fresh bread, serve with grilled chicken, the possibilities are endless.
p.s. It’s Saturday night. I’m hanging on the couch, watching glee, sipping a glass of wine. Pure bliss.