Have you ever been to a restaurant or a party, eaten something dreamy and desperately wanted the recipe? But did you get the recipe?
I have. And I did. And, honestly, when I got the recipe, the ingredients surprised me quite a bit and definitely piqued my interest. Here’s why.
Flashback: A few months ago, I submitted a recipe request to a food writer at the San Antonio Express-News. After waiting patiently for a few weeks, my question and recipe both appeared in the Sunday Taste section.
My request was for a salad. We attended a birthday party catered by a local restaurant and fell in love with the salad–particularly the dressing which was equal parts tang from the balsamic and. And what?
The recipe calls for adding bottled Italian salad dressing. Really? Not. David and I agreed that while we loved the flavor of the dressing, we knew there had to be a healthier way to get the same flavor. (Just go ahead and look at the ingredients in Italian salad dressing in a bottle.)
Needless to say, I decided to skip the restaurant’s version of the recipe, but I wasn’t willing to throw the recipe away or even furgettaboutit. I just needed a healthier alternative.
Fortunately, while organizing my stack of recipes the other day, I came across this hearty and well balanced Italian salad dressing that uses dried herbs, vegetables and a few other ingredients you probably have in your well stocked pantry.
All you need is a 16 oz. jar to shake up a bottle of homemade-but-tastes-and-looks-like-bottled-Italian-salad-dressing. It’s so good, you might just want to cut a “wedge” for the occasion.
Italian Salad Dressing
- 1 cup neutral oil olive, grapeseed, etc.
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 large garlic clove minced
- 2 tablespoons shallots finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon local raw honey
- 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt plus more to taste, if needed
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste ( I used about 1/2 teaspoon)
Combine all of the ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake the jar and dance around the kitchen for a few seconds.
Using a spear of lettuce, taste the dressing and adjust the seasoning, if needed. The dressing will keep in the fridge for several weeks. But prepare to make it more often than that.