Tuesday, March 6, 2012

a vinaigrette by any other name...

It may seem as if I have posting a lot of recipes lately. It may also seem that I'm spending the majority of my life in the kitchen. So to clear it up...Yes and yes.

The grass and trees aren't the only things that stay green in the Pacific NW~so does our chicken coop!
 We see a fair amount of rain up here in the Pacific Northwest. It keeps the grasses green and the trees lush until the leaves fall in October. It also keeps us indoors for a good 6 months of the year. Some years it can seem longer. Other years it is longer. And when the kids start complaining about boredom, winter seems as if it will never end. While the farm life continues on, nobody wants to see pictures of our water-logged, mud-up-to-the-armpits cows, or half naked (because their molting) chickens. Quite honestly, I don't really want to see it either. Seriously, have you ever seen a nekkid chicken butt? It's not pretty. And the cows? Puhlease...they slop around in the only muddy area on our place (we live on a hill) just to gain sympathy. I'm on to 'em.

So, while we wait for the rains to subside and the mud to dry (we have a brief reprieve this week), I'm chopping, dicing, slicing, mincing, fermenting, culturing, grinding, baking, soaking, and creating a horrible mess for my dish-washing children. Mostly because I can.

And it makes me happy to give my bored children something to do.☺

Lately I've been making a lot of salads. My grocery shopping trip yielded 4 heads of romaine lettuce and 4 heads of red leaf lettuce. To our salads, I also add black beans, sliced carrots, sliced almonds or sunflower seeds, boiled eggs, raw Parmesan, and green olives or pickled home-canned beets. Sometimes I'll mix up a dressing of some fresh-squeezed lemon juice and olive oil, and other times a homemade version of Green Goddess. But lately I've been making a balsamic vinaigrette that is what salad dreams are made of. Originally it was made because I knew my children wouldn't like it, thus leaving it all for me. In theory it was a good plan. Then one of the little busybodies stuck her finger in it. And blabbed. Now I have to double the recipe and be sure to go first. 

This probably wouldn't have happened if we lived in a warmer climate. The kids would be outside, leaving me plenty of time to make, use, and hide the vinaigrette.

It may be easier to just move...or make more dressing.☺

~Balsamic Vinaigrette~

~The Players~

4 Tb. extra virgin olive oil
3 Tb. balsamic vinegar
1 Tb. pure maple syrup
2 t. Dijon mustard
1 t. tamari sauce
fresh ground pepper, to taste

Place all ingredients in a vinaigrette jar or a canning jar with a lid. Shake well. 

Enjoy on a fresh salad or use as a marinade for beef or chicken before grilling. (Let meat marinate for several hours for best flavor.)


Chara said...

I love this post and this is so like me!!! I have actually sent my kids out to play (we are in CA so I can get away with it) while I test a recipe that I want to be the first to try! :) This reminds me of a balsamic I used to make all the time- similar, but different- thanks for the reminder and the smiles!!!
You might enjoy this glimpse into my life. :)

Candy C. said...

I never buy salad dressing anymore and I'm getting tired of Ranch, Ranch, Ranch! LOL!! I wrote your recipe down and will be trying it very, very soon! Thanks!! :)