Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Italian Dressing

Now is the time to reap the benefits of laboring in the garden. Yea! All that hard work is paying off. What better way to eat up all those yummy veggies than in a salad with homemade dressing. 

1 cup vegetable oil                          1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/3 cup red wine vinegar                 1 tsp prepared yellow mustard
1 tsp salt                                          1/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp sugar                                       1/4 tsp dried minced garlic
Mix all ingredients in a glass container with a lid. Shake well. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before using for the best flavor. Shake well again before serving.

Gather your ingredients.

Pour everything (in proper amounts, of course) into a container. We used an empty condiment bottle. 

 Shake, shake, shake!

After a few hours in the fridge, it's ready to go. Head to the garden (or the grocery store, farmer's market, friend's house, etc.), pick the yummiest produce, and prepare your salad.

Pour and enjoy!

Did you notice the mustard in the first picture? Ground, not prepared. That's what happens when the original recipe is not thorough. That's ok. I gave the finished dressing a good squirt of the yellow prepared mustard and shook it up again. The extra seasoning can't hurt, right?

To tell you the truth (since I always do), I really think the dressing needs a few more spices. It's a little bland for Italian. Maybe it's because I had only 1/2 cup of vegetable oil and had to substitute the rest with olive oil, which has a very strong, distinguishable flavor and could have masked the other ingredients. It is very good, but needs a little something. That's one of the great benefits of making things yourself. You can adapt it to fit your taste buds. Need to cut back on sodium? Add less salt. Diabetic? Replace the sugar with Splenda. Want a little heat? Add red pepper flakes. Make the recipe your own. That's what I love about cooking.

Do you have a favorite dressing/condiment recipe? Please, share! I'd love to hear them. 
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