Romaine lettuce, tomato, green onion, and cucumber glistened on the cutting board. Amy was at the sink, grumbling, as she washed out the salad spinner.
“Whoever used this last didn’t clean it. There are bits of dried salad stuck all over it.”
Sometimes it’s a bumpy road to the perfect salad.
“Dad, how do you make that balsamic vinegar dressing of yours?”
Ah, yes, my favourite oil and vinegar dressing. “Easy,” I said. “First take out a small dish. We start with the good flavours.”
- A clove of garlic, crushed and chopped.
- Fresh oregano and basil, also crushed and chopped. (How I love our little herb garden. In the winter I sprinkle in dried Italian herbs.)
- A bit of freshly ground pepper and a dash of salt. (When I’m being a purist, I throw in a pinch of coarse kosher salt; when I’m not, I shake in some seasoned salt.)
- Dijon mustard – just a bit on the end of a teaspoon. (This is optional, but I like it.)
- Now some oil – olive oil. (I’ll use other oils too. Canola or a blend if I want a milder oil flavour.) And stir it up to blend those flavours.
- OK, now the balsamic vinegar – not too much. Much, much less than the amount of oil. (Here again you could back off the intense flavour of the balsamic vinegar by diluting it with a bit of white vinegar or splash of water.) Stir again to really get those flavours together.
It’s ready now, but if you can let it rest, even a little bit, it’ll be so much better.
Amy was already dipping some freshly-baked crusty bread into the bowl. She popped a crumb into my mouth. Mm-m-m-m.
What’s left? Mix, mix. Toss, toss.