For my first recipe post I thought I would offer a recent creation that has me super excited about all the delicious produce that spring and summer will bring. This basil vinaigrette, I think, literally tastes like freshness and adds a wonderful zip to any number of foods. The bright green color is incredibly visually pleasing. Some things I have worked it into so far are:
Drizzled on top of homemade margherita pizza
Spring mix salad with sliced cucumbers and radishes
Cucumber and tomato salad with diced red onion (add an extra splash of vinegar)
Tossed with pasta and dusted with parmesan
Simple caprese salad of sliced tomatoes and mozzarella
Give it a try and let me know what brilliant ideas you can come up with for it. While not true of most recipes, I think the possibilities here might actually be endless. Since its gorgeous green color only really lasts for three to four days in the fridge (and will discolor/turn darker within hours if left out), I make a large batch of the basil and garlic mixture and then freeze small portions in snack-sized zipper bags. You can smoosh them flat so they take up minimal space and they thaw in two minutes when you run the bag under warm water. Voila – fresh basil any time!
The basic rule for vinaigrettes is a 3:1 ratio of oil to acid, which is reflected here.
3-4 tablespoons basil and garlic, mixed in food processor
zest of ½ lemon
juice of 1 large lemon wedge
½ tsp dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp agave nectar (perhaps less if you like tart vinaigrettes)
4 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
12 tbsp olive oil and/or grapeseed oil (I find a combination is best).
In a medium bowl combine basil mixture, lemon zest and juice, dijon, salt and pepper, and agave nectar. Add balsamic and stir. Measure oil into a container that is easy to slowly pour from. With a whisk in one hand and oil in another, slowly drizzle oil into basil mixutre while vigorously whisking. This is a bit like patting your head and rubbing your tummy – it takes a little practice. The easier way to do this is to combine ingredients in a food processor and slowly drizzle oil in through the top while the machine is on. However, I encourage you to try emulsifying a dressing by hand, the old fashioned way. It’s much more satisfying!