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The Blessed Vinaigrette
Posted by Lori Ross - Viewed 705 times

Recipe by Lori Ross

6-8 cups of salad greens
½ cucumber, seeded, quartered and sliced thin
½ red onion quartered and sliced thin
4 radishes sliced thin
¼ cup olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard (e.g. Grey Poupon)
1 large clove of garlic minced or pressed
Salt, pepper to taste
 
Clean and dry salad greens and toss with olive oil.  Add cucumber, radish and onion to salad bowl. Mix vinegar, mustard and garlic, pour into salad and toss again.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.
 
Variations:
There are endless variations on this dressing and you will enjoy experimenting with the proportions and ingredients.  The variations below are suggested because they have become favorites of my guests and family.  If you want to taste the dressing before you serve it, mix it in advance and dip some of the lettuce leaves you plan to use into the dressing to taste it, and then adjust the seasoning or proportions.   

  • Fruitier salad dressing: replace red wine vinegar with lemon juice or raspberry or blueberry vinegar and omit the mustard and garlic
  • Lighter salad dressing: replace red wine vinegar with white wine or champagne vinegar and omit the mustard
  • Sweeter dressing: replace red wine vinegar with 1/2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • For very sharp  tasting salad greens (e.g. arugula, endive, dandelion greens) try omitting the vinegar, mustard and garlic and use only olive oil and a few tbsps of crumbled sharp salty cheese such as Roquefort or feta
  • For a special salad (this is my husband’s favorite), added shredded, grated or crumbled cheese (blue, goat, parmesan, swiss) and some toasted or roasted nuts (walnuts, pecans, slivered almonds, pine nuts) and some fruit (diced apple, pear, apricots, peaches, plums or blueberries, raspberries, strawberries or dried chopped fruit such as apricots, figs, dried cherries)
  • To make this salad an entrée, simply top it with warm or cold grilled, steamed or pan fried fish fillet, shrimp, scallops, boneless chicken breast, sliced filet mignon, squid, lobster or crab meat.
  • For a truly elegant seafood salad, mix ½ cup each of cooked shrimp, scallops and squid plus 12 mussels or clams then marinate in the original vinaigrette replacing the vinegar with lemon juice.  Serve on fresh arugula or bibb lettuce cups and top with dill and fresh ground pepper.  (My sister in law serves this every Christmas as a first course!)

    This recipe and its variations may also be used to dress almost any vegetable that may be eaten raw -- fennel, celery, thin sliced or julienne carrots, cabbage, cucumbers, radishes, broccoli, peppers, cauliflower and zucchini, tomatoes.  I have also had success using it on warm vegetables such as: steamed asparagus, steamed carrots, boiled potatoes, and green beans, white and black beans.
     
     Serves 4 as a salad course





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