Monday, September 2, 2013

homemade salad dressings

I don't remember buying any salad dressing in the past few years. I can't believe how much better tasting homemade dressing is and how easy it is to make. I always figured that it tasted so much better because it was freshly made. While this is true, Amy also pointed out that the quality of oil used in bottled dressing is typically really poor. Ew.

 My go-to dressings are a lemon-basil dressing from Real Simple, balsamic vinaigrette (I don't measure anything), and greek dressing. The secret to making a great greek dressing is to steal the olive oil you use from the jar/container of olives you're using. Or a little of the brine if there's not any oil to steal. We occasionally make a honey mustard dressing out of honey, dijon & rice vinegar. It's sooo good.

We didn't do a whole lot this weekend, but we did go to a float spa (weird and intriguing) and I started my first batch of fermented pickled carrots. The carrots will be really fun to watch over the next week. They'll start bubbling and getting foamy at the top of the jar as the bacteria does its thing. Prepping a batch of these takes less than 10 minutes. The instructions (click on photo to enlarge) just using a brine solution, black whole peppercorns, dill, garlic and the pickling vegetable of your choice (the instructor mentioned that carrots and pickling cucumbers really work best for this recipe).

This method of pickling is pretty much no fail. You follow the brine ratio and pack a clean jar with your veggies and herbs. Then it just sits and you scrape off the foam on the top for several days. And it can live in your fridge for a while and you can enjoy the healthy benefits of eating lactobacillus :).

(Instructions thanks to Kate Payne from Whole Food's class on 8/13)

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