Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette

Please excuse my language here, but I am just not one of those people that has their shit together.  Ever.  I’ve been known to bring presents without bows, I’m habitually late, incredibly forgetful, have a hard time making the simplest decisions, and organization is not my strong point.  And I might scream, cry, and curse at the drop of a hat (or boot).  I haven’t been to the gym in ages, but yet that hasn’t stopped me from eating dessert, or indulging in an extra cocktail.  I’ll never have the greatest food blog and the most followers; my writing isn’t engaging & witty, and my photos never seem to nail proper composure, exposure, & focus in the same shot.  While I am proud of my accomplishments at my job, I never feel it’s good enough because someone else edited something better/faster/more important.  My house never stays clean, has ZERO art on the walls, and something I need is always either two floors up or two floors down.  I didn’t respond to an email, FB message, tweet, phone call, text, writing in the sky, etc.  And I just can’t seem to catch up to my bills.

But you know what?  No one is perfect.  And not everything I do is insufficient.  Every once in a while, it seems the stars align, and I actually have ALL the ingredients I need to throw together something I feel like eating.  Such was the case with this salad.  A sale on spring mix & strawberries, some leftover blueberry goat cheese, a handful of chopped walnuts and voila!  Salad.  And I even had all the ingredients to make my own dressing.  I didn’t have any bottled dressings that matched the flavors of the salad, and didn’t want to have to stop at the store, so I just made my own.  If your looking for a way to impress people, let me suggest whipping together a salad dressing.  To people who don’t know how incredibly simple it is, it looks as though you’ve accomplished some an impressive feat.  What they don’t know is that I threw together this salad & homemade dressing in a matter of minutes while my husband gave me the evil eye because I was making us late.

So stop beating yourself up.  And I’ll try to do the same.


Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette

Yield: about 1 cup

Total Time: 10min

This dressing was a delicious combo of tangy, zesty, & sweet. I used high quality olive oil, and I could definitely taste the difference. I also used strawberry balsamic vinegar, because I've had it for AGES and never could figure out what to use it for. But any balsamic vinegar would work. You can use this dressing for a salad like the one I suggested, or for whatever salad you have ingredients on hand for.


1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup olive oil


Beat the vinegar in a bowl with the sugar, garlic, salt and pepper until sugar and salt dissolves. Then beat in the oil by droplets, whisking constantly. (Or place all the ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake to combine.) Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Toss a few tablespoons of the dressing with the salad mix and desired salad ingredients, and serve immediately.

If not using dressing right away, cover and refrigerate, whisking or shaking again before use.

adapted from FoodNetwork.com

I know I got a little photo happy in this post.  It’s unlike me to want to post 3 photos!  But I went from thinking all the photos of the salad & dressing were awful because I couldn’t quite compose it correctly, to finding 3 I liked.  Funny how that happens when you let up on beating yourself down!

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