Monday, September 21, 2009

Liz Adair's Salad Dressing Recipes

I got another request the other day for my salad dressing recipe, so I thought that might be a good subject for today's blog.

We're in the trailer, on our way to Nevada for Derrill's high school's 100th birthday (NOT his 100th year reunion, he hastens to tell everyone), and as I made the salad tonight, I took a picture of it and the dressing I brought along.

My salad dressing consists of vinegar, oil and salt. When I take salad to a pot luck I may make one or two variations on that recipe. I'll give them all here.

I will say that two of the most important ingredients to a good salad are cucumbers and onions. If you've got those two ingredients, you can add anything else to it and have a successful salad.

Liz Adair's Basic Vinegarette

For a salad that would generously feed four:

3 tablespoons oil (I use canola, but olive oil does well, too)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (If you use any other kind it won't taste as good)

Combine these in a plastic bottle with a stopper that can be undone quickly. Just before you're
ready to serve the salad, shake the bottle vigorously to combine the vinegar and oil, and then pour over the salad.
Shake salt liberally over the salad, toss, and shake salt liberally again. Taste. If the vinegar is too sharp, salt it some more. It takes quite a bit.

The salt and oil will cause the salad to wilt after while, so this salad can't be saved in the fridge as leftovers--unless you like wilted salad.

Variation I: Liz Adair's Creamy Italian

Put the all-purpse blade into your food processor (or, you can use a blender).
Break an egg into the bowl, turn it on, and as it is running, slowly pour 1 cup oil into the egg.

While it continues to mix, add 2 tablespoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper and 1 teaspoon dried basil. If you have fresh basil, add a sprig of that, too.

Then, slowly add 3/4 cup red wine vinegar to the egg-oil mixture.
Let it beat for several seconds. Scrape down the sides and let it mix a few more seconds. Now it's ready for a salad.

Don't overdress the salad. Probably a tablespoon per serving is sufficient.

For those who are leary of having a raw egg in their salad dressing, here's an eggless variation:

Liz Adair's Avacado Vinegarette

This recipe is the same as the creamy Italian, except you delete the egg and basil and add 1/2 ripe avacado at the beginning.

Both of these salad dressings will keep in the refrigerator for a week or so. I store mine in glass jars, but plastic will do just as well. Be sure to shake them before you dress the salad, because sometimes the vinegar settles to the bottom.


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