Monday, July 21, 2014

Homemade Dressings

Why use store bought dressing when it's so easy to make something good at home that doesn't include all those stabilizers, preservatives and sweeteners. The following recipes are creamy dressings without the cream. 
Roasted Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
Cook's notes:You can use the dressing warm or place in a jar and refrigerate up to one week and serve it cold.  Recipe  adapted from closetcooking.com
Ingredients:
  • about 2 cups of fresh strawberries, hulled
  • 1/4 cup high-quality balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • about 1 tablespoon strawberry jam (or honey), optional (taste for sweetness)
  • good pinch of sea salt
  • a couple grinds of fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Directions:
  • Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the strawberries on the parchment paper. Roast for about 15 minutes or until the strawberries are softened and very juicy (you can also use the broiler, but cut down the time to about 8-10 minutes).
  • While the strawberries are roasting, place the balsamic, olive oil, jam/honey, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender. When the strawberries are finished, let them cool slightly and then add them and all their juices to the food processor. Pulse until smooth. Add the mustard and pulse once or twice, just so it mixes through.

Tomato Basil Vinaigrette

adapted from Bobby Flay

Ingredients
  • 1 - 14.5oz. can Diced Fire-Roasted Tomatoes, drained
  • 1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 TB. fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 cup high quality extra light virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Directions
  • In a food processor or blender, combine the tomatoes, vinegar, garlic, basil and olive oil; blend well. 
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
Raspberry White Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
recipe adapted from  closetcooking.com
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup raspberries fresh
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
  • Mash the raspberries and mix everything in a blender.
Lemon Honey Dijon Vinaigrette
recipe from adapted from closetcooking.com
Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tsp.balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 clove garlic, grated (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. lemon peel
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
Directions:
  • Mix everything in a blender except oil and then add it in a steady stream.


Vinaigrette

Perhaps the most perfect marriage of kitchen staples is that of vinegar and oil,called vinaigrette. The classic ratio is 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil. But it can be adjusted to personal preference. Less vinegar yields a gentler result. The keys are quality ingredients and thorough emulsification. 
A splash (about a half a teaspoon) vinegar can enliven almost any dish. Try these different ideas:
  • balsamic vinegar on slices of melon
  • rice vinegar over grilled vegetables
  • toss cucumbers with a slash of red wine vinegar
  • apple cider vinegar over cooked squash
  • white wine vinegar  on any bean dish
  • sherry vinegar over shrimp before grilling
  • apple cider vinegar in coleslaw

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