Salad Essentials: Dressing

**This post is part of a month-long series as I participate in the Salad as a Meal Challenge.

People complain to me all the time that salad doesn’t work as a meal. To some extent I agree–if you take a narrow view of salad as just lettuce, tomatoes and such. But there are so many different ingredients that you can put in a salad to make it hearty, healthy, and filling. But the most important salad ingredient for me: The dressing.

If you have a flavorful, robust dressing, you will like your salad more. Really. Not a mayonnaise-y gloppy mess dressing (although if you like that sort of thing, more power to you), but a rich dressing with good quality vinegar and oil, fresh herb,s and spices.

In honor of the beautiful weather this past weekend, we had a barbecue with some friends (although it was too cold so we ended up with an electric grill inside, but it was still delicious!). I volunteered to make a big potato salad because, really, what’s a barbecue without it? You may have guessed from my comment above that I abhor mayonnaise, so I made my potato salad with an olive oil based dressing–the basil-lemon dressing from Salad as a Meal. Delicious! I boiled and cubed some red-skinned potatoes, added some chopped eggs, celery and scallions, then tossed the whole thing with the basil-lemon dressing.

I can’t share this recipe with you since the cookbook has not yet been published, but here is one of my own dressing recipes that I developed recently and have completely fallen in love with.

Red Wine Vinaigrette w/ Shallots & Rosemary

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 shallot, sliced very thinly
2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
hefty pinch of salt + more to taste
1/3 cup light olive oil

  1. Place vinegar, shallots, and rosemary in a small mason jar. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour.
  2. Add salt and oil, cover, and shake until emulsified. Add more salt to taste. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks (remove from fridge about 15 minutes before you plan to use it so the oil can de-solidify).

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