I have really enjoyed making salads with fresh ingredients from the garden. Even though I only planted a few vegetables this year, it is still nice to have a salad that is mostly, or partly, from my backyard.
I have found lettuce to be the one plant that just keeps on giving. I tear a few leaves off and they grow back! It’s wonderful. Not to mention the fact that I didn’t even plant them, they came back from last year’s garden. I like not buying lettuce.
The following is a simple, delicate vinaigrette that can be enjoyed on almost any salad. It is very easy to prepare.
If you haven’t ventured into the land of homemade salad dressings yet, I encourage you to give it a try. Personally, it gives me great satisfaction to make my own, and I love knowing what is in it – no weird ingredients I can’t pronounce…unless it’s shallots…I still pronounce them the Australian way. Think Anne of Green Gables, “The Lady of Shallot.” That’s not Australian, but it’s the only example I can think of right now
Simple Shallot Vinaigrette
Adapted from Deborah Madison’s Shallot Vinaigrette in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, page 183
1 small shallot, peeled and finely diced (about 2 Tablespoons)
2 tablespoons White wine vinegar*
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Place diced shallot, vinegar, and 1/8 teaspoon of salt in a bowl. Let sit for 15 minutes (this allows the shallots to sweeten).
Transfer to a jar. Add pepper, mustard and oil. Place lid on jar and tighten. Shake jar until vinaigrette is blended. Of course you may whisk in the oil while the shallots and vinaigrette are in the bowl, if you prefer. I just always use a jar. It seems easier to me.
I like the little pieces of shallot on my salad. They are pretty and tasty!
*The original recipe gives the option of using red wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice in place of the white wine vinegar. Although I have not tried these variations yet, I expect they would both taste great.