I love this time of year. Feeling the crispness of fresh lettuces in my hands and mouth makes me feel complete, as if part of me was missing. This may seem pretty dramatic (I'll be the first to admit, it totally is), but there is something about those first bites of spring, whether it's lettuce, spinach, asparagus, what have you. The garden is waking up and aren't we so excited?!
Because there isn't much else growing right now, the way we dress our greens seems more important now than it will seem later on, particularly in the fall when those fall crops of green will be topped with tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, (dare I dream, mushrooms?) etc.
I need dressing.
But not some highly processed dressing made with sugar and corn syrup. It seems an insult to those fresh little lettuces. So. Today I offer you some excellent, super easy homemade dressings (only one of which has any sugar in it).
The star of the show is a new recipe that I am currently a bit obsessed with. The other night, we had soup (carrot soup, from the freezer), oatmeal rolls, and a big salad with this dressing. I bypassed the soup completely and had two big bowls of salad. I would tell you that I'm salivating right now just thinking about it, but that would be gross.
My sister made an amazing salad for us last week when we were at their house (three cheers for sisters living close!) and introduced me to this dressing. I tweaked it only by adding an additional clove of garlic (it gives it some more zip) and using the separate ingredients of mustard and honey instead of honey mustard. It's a cinch to make and so delicious.
Honey Mustard Balsamic Vinaigrette (adapted from a recipe from my sister from Martha Stewart)
2 tbsp. spicy brown mustard
1 1/2 tbsp. honey
2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3/4 cup olive oil
Combine all the ingredients except the oil in a bowl with a whisk. Drizzle in the olive oil while stirring. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Other dressings you need to be aware of are...
Garden Salad Dressing
Creamy Salad Dressing
Caesar Salad Dressing
Basic Vinaigrette Dressing
Lettuce and Egg Salad -This is not egg salad, it's a salad of greens, tossed in an outstanding dressing and topped with sliced hard boiled eggs.
If you're not hungry for salad right now, I don't know what to do with you. Now, go forth and dress them greens!