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Balsamic Vinaigrette "House Dressing"
Every family needs a house dressing that can be made in a jiffy for tossing with salad greens. Now that everyone buys balsamic vinegar, a vinaigrette made with the heady stuff is one of the most popular dressings around. And for good reason. It's versatile and tasty, with a touch of sweetness. I use a blender, which produces a thicker vinaigrette than you might expect. Allow 2 to 3 tablespoons of dressing per serving. A cup should easily be enough for 6 to 8 servings of mixed greens.
Servings: Makes 1 cup
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic , crushed through a press
  • 3/4 cup olive olive oil , preferably extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper , to taste
Directions
Combine the balsamic and red wine vinegars, mustard and garlic in a blender. With the machine running, gradually add the olive oil through the opening in the lid to process into a thick dressing. Season with salt and pepper. (The dressing can be made up to 1 week ahead, stored in a covered container and refrigerated. Stir well before using.)

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    Dee's Sensation Salad Dressing
    This garlicky salad dressing will add pep to all kinds of leafy greens!
    Servings:  
    Ingredients
    • 5 cloves garlic (juice and pulp), pressed
    • 8 ounces Romano Romano cheese , freshly grated
    • 16 ounces canola canola oil
    • 2 lemons , juiced
    Directions
    Place ingredients in a jar and shake well. Keeps indefinitely in refrigerator.

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      Gerri Hirshey's Salad Dressing
      Low-key, splashy and delicious, with a special flavor that will have people talking.
      Gerri Hirshey's Salad Dressing
      Recipe created by Author Gerri Hirshey
      Servings: Makes 1 1/4 cups
      Ingredients
      • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive extra-virgin olive oil
      • 1 tablespoon Dijon Dijon mustard
      • 1 clove garlic , finely minced
      • 1/3 cup red wine red wine vinegar
      • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Worcestershire sauce or to taste
      • Salt and freshly ground pepper , to taste
      Directions
      In the bowl of a mini food processor, combine all the ingredients and blend until emulsified. Or, in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid, shake all the ingredients together. Makes about 11/4 cups.

      Recommended substitution: Instead of Worcestershire sauce, try about 1 tablespoon Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki (available at soyvay.com), dill pickle juice, or smashed green olives.

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        Dressed for Success
        Whip up a batch of Colin Cowie's versatile vinaigrette on Sunday night, and glaze, drizzle, and splash everything from salads to chicken to fish all week long.
        Salad with vinaigrette
        I entertain a lot, which means that four or five days a week I'm either dining out at a restaurant or inviting friends to my apartment for a home-cooked or store-bought improvised meal. I like to combine textures, temperatures, and colors, and I make a point of serving my guests a variety of fresh, crisp salads, wintry greens, and grilled fish or chicken. A few years ago, I decided I wanted to eliminate once and for all the labor of making salad dressing from scratch every dinner.

        Colin's Vinaigrette is my solution: It's a great basic recipe that can be adapted a hundred different ways. I make a big batch on Sunday nights and keep it in a squeeze bottle in my refrigerator to use all week (it lasts longer chilled than at room temperature). At dinnertime I run the bottle under warm water for a minute, give it a shake, and it's ready to go.

        The key to a great salad dressing is using the proper amount of olive oil in relation to vinegar. My ideal ratio is four parts oil to one part vinegar (or lemon juice or whatever else you use as your acidic flavor). If you want a lighter dressing, substitute vegetable oil. If you want something with a nutty taste, try a little hazelnut or walnut oil. And if you want an unsurpassed, extra dose of decadence, splurge on some white truffle oil!

        For flavoring I believe in adding generous amounts of salt and pepper, plus good-quality Dijon mustard and a finely chopped shallot, though here, too, the options are infinite. If you prefer your dressing more pungent and hearty, add a clove of minced garlic instead of shallots. If you want to sweeten things up, sprinkle in a half tablespoon of sugar or honey. Puree an artichoke heart or add some Stilton cheese for a richer, creamier dressing. Let what you're serving guide your choices—and don't limit yourself to salad greens. I use my vinaigrette as a glaze for baked and barbecued chicken, a wonderful marinade for shrimp, and a sauce to drizzle over grilled seafood. It adds a zesty touch to winter greens, lentils, and more. The versatility of this handy, foolproof vinaigrette borders on the magical and will make anyone feel like a superchef. Adjust seasonings as desired, shake, and you've got four parts delicious to one part fabulous.

        Get the recipe for Colin Cowie's versatile vinaigrette

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          Summer Salads
          A recipe for a beautiful summer salad with three choices for dressing. Take your pick and enjoy!
          summer salad
          Now is the time for the best produce at the market. All of the summer fruits and vegetables are at their peak flavor. I love to mix fresh greens with fresh fruit and herbs. With all the different varieties that are available you can come up with many great combinations. Here is a recipe for a beautiful summer salad. I’ve included some choices for salad dressing. Take your pick and enjoy!

          Summer Salad

          Serves 4

          Ingredients

          • 4 cups watercress or baby arugula (or both)
          • 3/4 cup fresh mint leaves
          • 1 cup fresh raspberries
          • 3 oranges peeled and sliced into rounds
          • 1 cup red grapes
          • 1/2 cup walnuts
          • 1 cup Greek feta cheese
          • 1 ripe avocado

          Directions


          Line up 4 plates and place three orange slices on each. Divide the watercress, mint leaves over the oranges. Divide raspberries, grapes, walnuts and feta over the entire salad. Cut the avocados into chunks then divide and add to salad. Drizzle over 2 tablespoons of your favorite dressing.

          NOTE: I put my plates in the freezer for 20 minutes before I get ready to serve the salad to get them really cold.

          Champagne Vinaigrette

          Makes approximately 1/3 cup

          Ingredients

          • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
          • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
          • 2 Tbsp champagne vinegar
          • 1 small garlic clove, smashed
          • 1 tsp minced shallot
          • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
          • Cracked pepper to taste

          Directions


          Whisk together the olive oil, Dijon mustard and champagne vinegar until emulsified. Add the shallot, salt, pepper to taste and stir. Add garlic. Place in an airtight container and let sit for a least an hour. This dressing will keep in the refrigerator for 4 days in an air-tight container.

          Avocado Dressing

          Makes approximately 2 cups

          Ingredients

          • 2 Medium ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and cut into chunks
          • 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
          • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
          • 2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped coarsely
          • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

          Directions


          Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds.

          Raspberry Vinaigrette

          Makes approximately 3/4 cups

          Ingredients

          • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
          • 2 Tbsp walnut oil
          • 1 tsp finely chopped shallots
          • 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
          • 1 Tbsp malt vinegar
          • 1 Tbsp raspberry vinegar
          • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

          Directions


          In a glass bowl, combine all of the ingredients and whisk together well. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

          Blue Cheese Dressing

          Ingredients

          • 2/3 cup buttermilk
          • 1 cup sour cream
          • 2 Tbsp champagne vinegar
          • 6 ounces blue cheese
          • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

          Directions


          Whisk together the buttermilk and sour cream until smooth. Add the vinegar and whisk in. Break the blue cheese into pieces and fold into the buttermilk mixture. Sprinkle the cayenne over the top, and mix gently.

          Cover tightly. This dressing will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days.

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            Lime-Cilantro Dressing Recipe
            Photo: Ditte Isager
            Looking for a new twist on your go-to salad dressing? Try out this recipe that features a combination of cilantro, lime and cayenne pepper.

            Serves 4

            Ingredients

            • 1/4 cup cilantro
            • 1 clove garlic
            • 1/4 cup lime juice (about 3 limes)
            • 1 Tbsp. honey
            • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
            • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
            • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
            • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

            Directions

            Puree all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Chill until ready to serve.

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