Top | mydogischelsea

My mother's salad dressing: Best. Dressing. Ever.

(post, Laura Parisi)

My mother makes great salads.

What makes them so great is their simplicity. Often, when I make a salad, it's got all sorts of goodies: avocados, green onions, apples, yellow bell peppers, what have you. That's nice and all, but it's a little busy. Her salads? Lettuce, bleu cheese (if and when it's in her fridge at the moment) and The Best Dressing Ever. 

Of course, the right lettuce is key. My favorite of her salads is what she calls the "tri-colored salad": arugula, radicchio and endive, tossed with bleu cheese and dressing. 

However, it really is all about the dressing. I've tried to replicate her dressing a million times over, but she is the true master. This is what I've learned: NO SKIMPING. No diets, no "lite", no fear of garlic breath. Just go for it. 

(That said: if you're on a diet, my mother claims that you can actually lose calories while eating a salad if you dress it only in vinegar. It's one of her "dieting tricks." That, and drinking vodka with dinner instead of wine.) 

The Best Dressing Ever (amounts are approximate):

1/8 cup olive oil
1/8 cup Balsamic vinegar
1-2 cloves garlic, pressed
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste (don't skimp)

1. This is how I do it: I take a small jar, usually an old peanut butter jar. I put the tip of my pinky on the counter, holding my finger next to the side of the jar. I use the bottom third of my pinky to measure. 

2. Pour the olive oil into the jar until it's about the height of halfway up the bottom third of your pinky. Then, add the vinegar until it's on the same level as your third joint. (Make sense? If not, just use a measuring cup.)

3. Add garlic, salt and pepper. (Remember, don't skimp)

4. Put the lid on tightly, and SHAKE!

That's it. (My brother likes to add about a teaspoon of Dijon mustard and maple syrup, and then puts it in the blender. That's quite good, too, but more work.)