Posts tagged vinaigrette

Simple Blackberry Vinaigrette

Blackberry vinaigretteFor dinner, we’ll often do a big salad–especially now that spring is finally here.

 

But salads can be boring. And kids know it.

 

So I like to play with the lettuce, toppings, and dressing to keep my kids asking, Can we have salad for dinner?

 

Berries–dried or fresh–are a great way to enliven a salad and add a burst of sweetness. I also like to add them into the dressing.

 

You can make your own vinaigrette from scratch by using equal parts vinegar (or fresh lemon juice) and olive oil along with seasonings such as dried herbs but I usually don’t have time on a weeknight meal to do all that. Instead, I start with a good quality store-bought vinaigrette as a base and then pump up the flavor.

 

Here’s how to make your own blackberry vinaigrette–this is the perfect starter salad dressing recipe for kids who like to help in the kitchen and are old enough to be trusted with the blender.

 

Recipe

Yield: About 1 1/3 cups dressing

 

Ingredients

1 cup oil-based salad dressing (I like Matsos Greek Dressing or Ken’s Lite Northern Italian Dressing)

1/3 cup blackberries (or any other kind of berry, fresh or frozen)

2 tsp. fresh lemon juice (opt.)

1/2 tbsp. fresh parsley or other fresh herb you have on hand–basil would be fabulous (opt.)

1/4 tsp. ground cayenne

 

Directions

  1. Place all the ingredients in a blender and puree. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  2. Drizzle on your salad.

 

Salad Suggestions

Romaine lettuce or green leaf, topped with grated carrots, pumpkin seeds, cubed cheese like Gouda, thin sliced onion, rotisserie or grilled chicken

 

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Spinach apple salad with honey dressing

It’s been a mild winter here in Ohio, but I’m still finding myself a little stir-crazy for Springtime. This salad gives me a bit of a taste of spring–with both kicks of fruit (both fresh and dried) along with a light vinaigrette.

Kid reaction: My teen liked the fruit/spinach combo but asked for it sans onions next time. The two youngest still aren’t convinced about vinaigrettes–to them salad dressing equals something creamy. I’m working on that.

Recipe

Prep time: 10 minutes

Servings: 4-6

Ingredients

12-ounce bag baby spinach (romaine works well too)

1 apple (Gala, Empire, Pink Lady), cut into thin slices

4 thin slices of red onion

½ cup roasted sunflower seeds

¼ cup dried cranberries

Vinaigrette

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

¼ cup water

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons honey

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Whisk together all of the vinaigrette ingredients.
  2. Pour the vinaigrette over the spinach and toss along with the apples, red onion, sunflower seeds, and dried cranberries.
  3. Serve right away.
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