Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Dress Them Greens

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.


So for now, we top our salads with whatever we can muster- hard boiled eggs, cheese, nuts, and maybe even some dried fruit.  I know there are purists out there who only need a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper to top their salads but I need more.

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!

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  1. Thank you so very much for posting these recipes! You have no idea how timely they are as we just ran out of the last store bought bottle of dressing and I've vowed to never, NEVER by store bought again. (this bottle was the clincher as it was so disgusting...) Due to circumstances I'm a bit behind but today is the day that we are planting our garden. I am so tickled as we literally have all kinds of seed which were given to us for free!! Organic and heirloom seeds!! Have a wonderful day and once again thank you for sharing!!

  2. Yummy. Our greens are just coming up here, but I can't wait to try these!

  3. I really have to try balsamic dressing,everyone raves about it,it looks delicious ,why have I not tried it?

  4. I am totally gonna make sounds SO GOOD. Would it be gross to tell you that I am salivating? ;)

  5. I am always on the look out for good dressing recipes. Look delicious- giving them a try. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Okay, thanks alot. Now I am CRAVING salad. Thank goodness we have a garden too. Just got to run out the back door and pick some lettuce for the salad. I can't wait for fresh carrots, tomatoes, etc. either to be ready. I will be boiling our farm fresh eggs to put on today's salad though.

  7. oh lovely. That balsamic looks great. I was thinking of doing a post wherein I collected my dressing recipes too - because sometimes I forget about one or two :)

  8. So thrilled to find this post! I was just griping about how there's no good salad dressings out there (without HFCS or tons of chemicals) that aren't loaded with fats and calories! Thank you. :)

  9. I am eager to try some of these yummy looking dressings. We have been making our own for several years now but always on the look-out for something new and different and delicious. We have also been enjoying homegrown greens- lettuces, spinach, onions, radishes, dill, cilantro. Here in Northern VA the spring has been wonderful for early garden goodies. I will do the balsamic vinaigrette for today's salad. Thank you.
    Janet S.

  10. Thank you~I love how all these wonderful dressings are also gluten free and SO easy to mix!

  11. I will try these out this weekend! And here is one for you: a super-light, wonderful dressing for spring greens.

    3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
    3 Tbsp water
    1+ Tbsp honey
    2 tsp olive oil
    Salt & Pepper

  12. Oh yummy...I *love* salad! And it certainly is the time of year for it. Thank you for sharing links to all your recipes Jane...I will have to check them out. :)

    Many Blessings,


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