The first book I read in 2016 was Dinner: A Love Story. I’d never been much of a reader of the blog by the same name, but I adored the book. It was chock-full of not only recipes, but also ideas for how to throw lovely (dinner) parties and how to make everyday life a little more special.
One of those ideas was to make your own vinaigrette, something I’d never really done before. Honestly? I thought it would be good, but maybe not worth the extra work it would take to make salad dressing from scratch. Well I tried it once in late January, and have probably made it at least five times since then. It’s really that good. Not to mention that it falls into every one of the categories that all my favourite recipes (and most of the recipes on this site) share: easy, simple ingredients only, takes less than 10 minutes to make, veg-friendly.
I’ve also been throwing chopped-up ends of loaves of bread into the oven with a little oil, salt, and pepper for 15 minutes to make my own croutons and yes indeed, I feel very fancy. Having a jar of lovely pink vinaigrette in the fridge and a jar of croutons in the cabinet makes me feel this awesome sense of abundance and a little spike of joy every time I see them. Plus, of course, they make my salads ten times better.
Clearly, these days I’m all about tiny little kitchen tricks that make you feel like a grown-ass person with your life together… at least in the salad department. Join me!
Adapted from Dinner: A Love Story
- 1 tbsp Dijon (or other fancy) mustard
- 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar, honey or maple syrup
- Squeeze of lime (or lemon)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Pepper to taste
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Dried or fresh herbs (I use oregano and thyme but chives would be awesome in this!)
- 1/2 cup oil (I usually use canola)
Put everything into a jar and shake it like crazy! Use it to make your salads just a little bit fancier and (more importantly) tastier. My current favourite is spinach with cherry tomatoes, red onion, croutons, and this vinaigrette.