Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Salad days

I've said before that I'm an adequate home cook;what I really mean by that is that I can put together meals for myself from just stuff in my fridge. I can do basic roasts, stir frys and stews. It doesn't mean I don't screw up - I still do. But it also means that in the big wide world of the kitchen, I'm only just starting out.

Recently, Mr Grey and I celebrated our first anniversary. It's also the first anniversary of my return to regular cooking and having my own kitchen. When I look back, it is amazing that in one short year, I've still managed to learn quite a few things.

One of the best things I've picked up in the last year has been one of the easiest and simplest. (In fact, I'm afraid to admit that I haven't been doing it all along - eep.)

It's salad dressing. Home-made salad dressing.

Isn't that ridiculous? People who already make their own salad dressing are probably going -pfffft- what could be easier? Can't believe you weren't already doing it. For people who haven't made this leap - well, it sounds hard. And a bit OCD. Salad dressing is sold in jars! Why would you make it? Right? Isn't it like making your own mayonnaise? Or your own granola? (Because only hippies make their own granola!)

So about 8 months ago, Mr Grey and I hosted a small dinner party and the main dish for the night was japanese beef curry. I wanted to make a wafu dressing to go with our salad and hunted up a recipe. I couldn't believe how easy it was and from then on, I found even easier salad dressings to make.

Lately, all I've been doing is whisking balsamic vinegar together with olive oil. Add some salt and pepper and that's kind of it. It takes less than two minutes and tastes so much better than the store bought kind. It's cheaper too and most importantly, you know every ingredient that went into it.  Go read the ingredient list on any jar of salad dressing and I guarantee you will be frightened.

If you don't have balsamic vinegar, use some lemon juice and mustard. Whisk all of it together with olive oil, salt and pepper. That's it.


If you want, you can mince some onion or shallots, whisk them in with some vinegar (rice wine or apple cider), add some salt and pepper and again, that is it.

Your only equipment investment? A whisk. Mine cost $2.50 from NTUC.

Isn't that cool? I can't believe I took so long to get around to doing this.

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