The first day of Spring seems like an appropriate time to share a recipe for my favorite vinaigrette. The days of bounteous fresh veggies will soon be upon us, and you know what that means. Salads! Every day, salads!
I first had this dressing right after Ralph was born. My sister brought some over in a jar the day we came home from the hospital, along with salad fixings and burgers. After having a baby and then having to eat hospital food for a few days, believe me when I say that that meal was one of the best I'd ever eaten. I've been making this vinaigrette non-stop ever since, and there's always a jar of it in the fridge. It goes great with everything-- any kind of greens or veggies you happen to have in the fridge will do. I really love it with just a plain spinach salad, with maybe some walnuts and goat cheese if you want to fancy it up. Arugula is good, too. I think I ate chopped garden tomatoes tossed in it every day for lunch last summer. Ohh, fresh garden tomatoes!
The best part is that it keeps for six whole months in the fridge. I really love that. Make it once, and you'll have weeks and weeks of homemade dressing for your lunch salads. Quick and easy. Bada bing.
(original recipe can be found here, a Martha/Lucinda creation, of course.)
1 tablespoon minced shallot or garlic
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
In a clean jar, mash together the garlic, mustard, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour in vinegar, lemon juice, and olive oil. Cover tightly and shake well to combine and emulsify. Add salt and pepper to taste. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator, for up to six months. Makes one cup.
ps: my camera smells like garlic now.
On Sunday I turned 26 and Ralph took the best, most solid stroller nap ever. He's been doing this thing the past week or so, where he wakes up before the birds, refuses any sort of nap in his crib, and fights bedtime tooth and nail. My birthday was no exception, and our plans to work on the kitchen cupboards while Ralph napped upstairs were quickly scrapped. It was almost 3pm and, after numerous failed attempts at getting the child to just go to sleep already, we finally submitted to the truth that it wasn't going to happen. We were all tired of being in the house but it was too cold to take a long walk outside, so we strapped him in his car seat and drove to the mall.
The sweet, stubborn boy was fast asleep in less than two minutes.
Once we parked, I grabbed the stroller while Ryan unbuckled him, and we quickly transferred him from one to the other. And holy of holies, for the first time ever, he stayed asleep through the entire process. We headed toward the doors, sure that he'd wake up as soon as we made it inside. But he didn't. There he was, flat in his stroller, a small line of drool on his puffy cheek, dreaming away-- and there we were, with a baby that was finally sleeping and an entire mall to stroll through. We checked out the bar tools at Williams-Sonoma, took giant whiffs as we walked past Cinnabon, thumbed through the gardening books at Barnes and Noble, and picked one out to take home. It was like we were on a date, except better, because Ralph was there too. He was just napping quietly instead of bouncing to go faster and demanding pretzels every two minutes. The whole thing was really nice, in a surprising-parental-success sort of way.
The rest of the day was really nice too, despite the napping situation. When your birthday consists of church and coffee and flowers and Ralph chuckles and gardening gifts from your family and book stores with your sweetheart and a giant piece of cake, you can't really complain.