It's starting to be the season of fresh produce and simple meals! Even though we in the Midwest don't have fresh produce in our gardens yet, the veggies at the store seem fresher and more appealing as the weather warms up.
I'm a salad kind of gal, but I especially love salad in the warmer months. I prepare them fresh almost every day at lunch time, and top them with some cubed cheese or a chopped up hard-boiled egg. Yum.
My salads need dressing, of course! I had one or two dressing recipes that I used to prepare long ago, because I thought it was neat that I could make my own dressings. But then, I started using coupons to purchase dressings at the grocery store. Then the pendulum swung in the other direction--I started reading labels, and realized that there is a lot of junk in those store-bought dressings (even the organic ones) that I didn't want to put in my body. I know that I can't purchase everything organic, or make everything from scratch, but salad dressing is something I can do.
Surprisingly, it is easy and inexpensive to prepare your own salad dressings! I usually have the ingredients on hand to make several kinds of dressings, and it takes less than ten minutes to whip up a delicious topping to my yummy salads. Plus, once it's made, it'll usually last for over a week's worth of salads!
Here is an easy recipe that I got from Pampered Chef, slightly modified to my taste.
Creamy Caesar Salad Dressing
1 lemon, juiced to 2 T (I use lemon juice if I don't have lemons on hand)
3/4 t Worcestershire sauce
3/4 t Dijon mustard (I've substituted stone ground or other mustard, too)
freshly ground black pepper (I give my pepper mill a few good cranks)
1 garlic clove, pressed/minced
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup olive oil (can substitute other, but I use evoo)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I grate it from a fresh chunk)
Place lemon juice, Worcestershire, mustard, pepper, and garlic in small mixing bowl; whisk until blended. Add mayonnaise; whisk until smooth. While continually whisking, add oil to mayonnaise mixture in a thin, steady stream. Continue whisking until blended, then stir in Parmesan cheese. Keep in a sealed jar (Mason jars work great); store in the fridge for up to two weeks. Makes one cup.
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