I really, really love salads. In fact, during the summer, we eat a lot of salads with grilled meats. Our kids, too! As well, I like to use salad dressings as marinades for the meat and poultry, or even the vegetables that we are grilling, such as zucchini, yellow squash and mushrooms.
What I don’t like is all the ingredients in commercial salad dressings that 1. I can’t pronounce and 2. aren’t good for me or my family, or even necessary. Over the course of the last few years, we have really changed the way we eat and prepare our foods. Not to get on some ‘bandwagon’ or fad, rather because I truly desire to eat more healthfully and to provide the best foods for my family.
Let’s face it, while we desire to provide good foods for our families, our time is important, too. There are certain things I always make from scratch (biscuits, pancakes and waffles), but others I purchase ready-made (i.e. dry pasta and lasagna). Although, I have realized that yes, it does take more effort to make a dressing than to purchase one at the store, it is minimal and it tastes so much better.
Seriously, it takes three to five minutes to make this Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette. As well, there is no complicated recipe. It is so easy and it tastes amazing on salads, as a marinade, even on sliced strawberries as a dessert. (Not kidding! My kids love this, too. Marinate sliced strawberries in a bit of the dressing and sprinkle with a bit of pepper. It is SO GOOD and REFRESHING!)
Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 part Balsamic Vinegar (aprx. 1/4 cup)
3 parts good-quality Olive Oil (aprx. 3/4 cup)
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons of Agave Nectar
2 teaspoons of minced garlic
1/2-1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 t of lemon juice
Place all ingredients into a jar with a lid. Shake until combined.
You can turn this into a Honey Dijon Dressing by replacing the agave nectar with raw honey and adding 2-3 Tablespoons of Dijon Mustard.