Thursday, May 12, 2011

Double Duty Salad Dressing in a Flash

A guest post by author Michael Nolan

The first time it happened changed my life forever.

I had constructed the perfect salad from my garden.  Every piece grown by my own two hands from the variety of baby lettuces to the onions, the carrots, cucumbers and even my precious heirloom tomatoes.  Then I opened the fridge and realized that I was out of salad dressing.

I stood there with the refrigerator door nearly as agape as my mouth and it hit me - why can't I make my own salad dressing?  A few minutes later I was pouring this delicious, sweet, tart and tangy concoction over my salad and I've been making my own ever since.

Michael Nolan's Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette

This recipe yields about 1/2 cup, enough for 4 servings

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
3 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon sugar (I use turbinado, agave nectar or honey depending on my mood)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1.  Place everything in a bowl and whisk well with a wire whisk.  Alternatively you can place the ingredients in a blender to help emulsify the oil and meld the flavors even more.
Seriously, could it be any easier than that?  But wait, there's more!

You can use this tasty dressing as a sauce by reducing it over medium heat for a few minutes, or until the volume has reduced by half.  It is amazing over grilled chicken!

Michael Nolan, The Garden Rockstar is an author, blogger and speaker on gardening, sustainability, food ethics and homesteading.  He is currently in the process of writing a new guest post on a different site for each day in May. To follow his progress, visit

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