My first saladPosted: April 4, 2012
Let’s talk about salad dressing. But first, let’s talk about Crescent Dragonwagon.
My first cookbook was a Christmas present. Passionate Vegetarian by Crescent Dragonwagon. And so my obsession with cookbooks began. I love this cookbook. I’m even on my second copy, I used the first so much I wore it out.
It was my first introduction to the idea of salads beyond the buffet restaurant salad bar. Something intentional, where you combined things together purposefully, not just everything you liked? And making salad dressings? Oh my word! What a concept!
One of the first things I tried from this cookbook was a recipe she calls “The Salad”. In her incarnation, it is a variety of absolutely perfect greens, with a garlicky dressing made right on the salad. Love at first bite! But over the years, it has become something slightly different for me. Less perfect greens(they’re hard to come by in the seasons I’m not growing them myself), more other veggies. Sometimes I use red wine vinegar instead of lemon juice. It changes a little every time, but the basic makeup always stays the same, and it is always delicious.
So, without further ado, my Crescent Dragonwagon inspired recipe for salad-
6-8 cups of mixed greens and veggies(green beans, tomatoes, romaine hearts, arugula and spring mix is one of my favourite combinations, but use whatever you like that is available to you. The important thing is that all your veggies are dry, or the dressing won’t stick!)
3-4 tbsp olive oil
4-6 cloves of garlic
salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 lemon, halved, or 2-3 tsp red wine vinegar
dash of Worcestershire sauce
Put the olive oil in your salad bowl. peel your garlic cloves, and either press them directly into the oil, or mince them finely and put them in the oil, or mash them with a mortar and pestle and get them in the oil. Any way works, as long as you get pulverized garlic cloves into the olive oils! Add your vegetables and toss to combine. Add salt and pepper, a few sprinkles of lemon juice or vinegar and the Worcestershire sauce. Toss again. Taste it-does it need more of anything-salt, pepper, lemon/vinegar? Keep tasting and adding until your salad is perfect. Serve immediately, this salad does not wait around!
Serves 2 for a main course, 4-6 as a side
Once you taste this salad, you’ll see why Crescent Dragonwagon is one of my favorite cookbook authors, though my collection is now well over 100 cookbooks.