Friday, September 01, 2017

September Salad Dressing

I've been following the temperature of Paducah, KY for much of the summer. I'm planning a trip near there and wanted to know how hot it gets in the summer. Well, most of the time their temperatures were at least 15 degrees hotter than mine, and often up to 25 degrees they have high humidity. Today I looked and their temperature was about 25 degrees cooler. Took me by surprise.

We are currently having record setting heat, plus a haze from smoke being drawn down from Trinity County and Lake County from wildfires they are fighting there. At dinner time our temperature was 103 degrees. The usual at 6 pm? About 67 or so...quite a difference.

Fortunately we have an air conditioner for cooling the living room and it also filters out the smoke. Still, any kind of high heat saps my energy. I just want to nap or sit and read. Dinner has to be easy...last night it was corn on the cob, grilled lamb chops and our hot weather favorite.

undressed salad - naughty!

So what is a favorite when the weather is hot? Salad! Mixed field greens, some chopped romaine, shredded red cabbage, and a bunch of veggies from the garden - lemon cucumbers, freshly picked green beans, Marvel stripe tomato -  make it easy and delicious. What puts it over the top is my favorite homemade dressing. I use a mixture of dried shallots (Penzy's), grainy mustard, balsamic vinegar, good olive oil and a few herbs. I find that the dried shallots are mellower than fresh garlic, but still give some onion family flavor. Sometimes I throw in some lemon juice as I did this time. I just put everything into a pint jar, close the lid tightly, and shake! Easy and fun. Just let the dressing sit for 1/2 hour or so to let the shallots hydrate and flavor the dressing. Shake well again right before using.

Balsamic Mustard Dressing for Salads

1/2 teaspoon freeze-dried chopped shallots (or about 1 tablespoon fresh, chopped shallots)
1/2 teaspoon Dijon grainy mustard (or more if you like mustard...and you can sub your favorite mustard, too)
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
salt to taste
1 tablespoon finely minced Italian parsley (flat leaf parsley)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup good quality olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice (optional)
2 tablespoons water

Place all ingredients into a pint jar with a tightly fitting lid. Tighten lid on jar, then shake vigorously until all ingredients are well mixed. Let sit at least 1/2 hour. Shake again right before use, taste, and adjust salt and pepper. Use sparingly at first, adding more as needed. Store leftovers, if any, in the fridge.

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