Friday, June 4, 2010

Foodie Fridays: Simple but Satisfying

Since warm weather (and farmer's markets) have come to the Boston area, I've found myself opting for light dinners with very minimal cooking. Besides the occasional dinner of scrambled eggs, I've also started eating a lot of salads. Even though I love meat, salads make a lot of sense when it's too hot to cook.

My sudden salad obsession has also been fueled by the wonder that is homemade salad dressing. For years, I've resisted making it, because it seemed like something that was certainly passable when purchased. Previous attempts to make grocery store staples (like graham crackers and marshmallows) also seemed to disappoint. However, one sleepless night, I got bored and started messing around in the kitchen with a balsamic vinaigrette. Here is my recipe (adapted from the excellent one found in Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything):

1/3 cup olive oil (if you have good olive oil, use it, but my cheapo stuff worked well)
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar (or to taste)
salt and pepper
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of honey
dried dill

Combine the olive oil and vinegar (Bittman suggests using a blender, but I used a whisk and it worked out fine). Add a dash of dill as well as the garlic and honey. Whisk/blend to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.

This can be refrigerated, but be certain to let it warm up a bit and whisk to combine before serving.

A nice accompaniment to the salad is Bittman's olive oil bread, which is sort of like a biscuit. Since my cupboard was very close to bare, I made a half recipe of it and it was perfect for dipping in the vinaigrette.