Date Sweetened Vinagrette

by Maggie on November 12, 2010

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I think salad is a side dish served at every dinner party.

And rightfully so. Salad is so versatile.

So many greens.
So many dressings.
So many toppings.

Whenever we go to holiday dinners with Pete’s side of the family, I get asked to bring a salad. I think it’s because my salads aren’t your usual chopped cucumbers, diced tomatoes, and iceberg lettuce salads. You just never know what’s in my salad bowl!

And I’m a little bit of a dressing snob. You do know it’s faster to make your own salad dressing than it is to go to a store and buy some, right?

If You Build It

I always begin building my salads with a mix of greens – spinach, romaine, kale, arugula, whatever is in my fridge. There’s one rule though, no iceberg. I’m so over iceberg lettuce.

I usually throw in some walnuts, and if it’s a really special occasion I like to make candied nuts to top off my salads. I also like to add some fresh sprouts. There’s a woman at our year-round farmer’s market who makes an amazing variety of sprouts. Sometimes we add a cup of quinoa to our salads. Yum!

When I was in Switzerland a few years ago, I had a salad that had avocado in it and I fell in love. So there’s always some perfectly ripe avocado in our salads. And on those special occasions, we like to put some pears or berries in too.

My friend Glenn likes to grate beets, carrots, and sweet potato for his salads. I love the texture this adds to a salad. And the colour rocks.

That’s my goal for every salad – to give it some colour.

We have a few salad dressings that we rotate through, but this is a fairly new one. It has yet to be debuted at a Savage Family party. I think it will make its first appearance this holiday season.

Date Vinaigrette

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

3 medjool dates soaked until soft

1 clove of garlic, crushed

1 tsp Dijon mustard (I like to use grainy Dijon)

2 tbsp water (use the date-soaking water)

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp basil, chiffonade (check out Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free’s chiffonade tutorial)

Place the balsamic vinegar, garlic, Dijon and water in a large measuring cup. Blend well with an immersion blender (or in your blender). With blender running, add oil and combine. Add salt, pepper and basil.

This makes a thick dressing so you might want to thin it out with more water. Pete and I like our dressing thick!

Makes ¾ cup of dressing.

Did you know that most balsamic vinegars contain caramel colouring? Why? I don’t need my balsamic to be the colour of caramel. I’m okay with au natural. Solution? Buy organic balsamic vinegar. Or go to Italy and buy some…

Are you a salad dressing snob?

You can find this and many more slightly indulgent recipes at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.
This post is linked up to Gluten-Free Holiday celebrations. Visit Gluten-Free Easily by next Wednesday, November 17th, and join in the awesome giveaway that’s going on!

I joined the Hearth and Soul Hop for the FIRST time by linking up this recipe! Head on over and check out some amazing recipes, all of which will nourish your soul! I love it.

You’ll also find this recipe at Gluten-Free Wednesday which is hosted by Linda at The Gluten-Free Homemaker. Check it out!