Salads are one of those things that I consider a necessary evil. When trying to go for a healthier lifestyle (which includes increasing intake of fresh fruits and vegetables), you can’t ignore the benefits of eating salads regularly. As for increasing nutrients and fiber, you can’t get much better than a fresh garden vegetable salad, full of raw and leafy green veggies.
However, the typical American style “salad” is not what I describe. Instead it’s a sad little thing we call “a mixed green salad”, usually composed of iceberg lettuce with maybe a few strips of grated carrot, a scrap or two of Romaine thrown in (if you’re lucky), topped with a lone slice of tomato, and maybe some white bread croutons. The sadness is multiplied by drowning the lettuce in a high fat, preservative filled commercial bottled dressing like Thousand Island, Ranch or Blue Cheese.
So you see, after living in Texas and seeing that pass as a “healthy vegetable” for years, I was cool on salads. Pass. No problem.
However, when I returned to California I got back into the swing of eating things that actually looked like a vegetable salad, with radishes, grape tomato, cucumber, radicchio and escarole, sprouts and baby spinach, purple cabbage and red pepper strips, mushrooms and artichoke hearts all jumbled in. But I still wasn’t a huge fan. To me the dozens of salad dressing offerings were missing something, but eating oil and vinegar or plain lemon juice squeezed onto a salad was even grosser.
But then I discovered that I could make my own salad dressing! What? Heavens to Betsy, who was keeping this fabulous secret from me? I started with the dry packet of Good Seasons dressing (where you add the water, oil and vinegar), then went on from there.
Fast forward many years. I’m still not a big salad eater… I mean, it’s not and never will be my default food to eat when I don’t know what else to eat like a salad is for some people.
However, I really like this dressing – so much so that I made a big bottle of it and subsequently poured it over a plate salad and ended up eating two servings. Me? TWO servings of salad? Unheard of.
Hey, what can I say? I love red onions, and I love garlic. So the two together created a delicious flavor explosion in my mouth that I just have to share.
Notice how the dressing is a beautiful shade of reddish pink – which it gets directly from the red onion. This dressing whips up in just a few minutes in your blender or food processor, and delivers the perfect blend of tartness, sweetness, spiciness and savory-ness. Try it on your favorite salad concoction and let me know what you think.
- 1 clove fresh garlic, mashed
- 1 small red onion, peeled and quartered
- ⅓ cup beet sugar
- ½ to 1 teaspoon Kosher salt (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon celery seeds
- 1 Tablespoon quality Dijon mustard
- ⅓ cup white wine vinegar
- 6 oz. avocado or olive oil
- Put all ingredients into blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- Pour into salad dressing cruet for immediate serving, or store in an airtight jar or plastic container.
- Lasts 3-5 days in the refrigerator.
Category: Light Meals