Its been a while since I've made a recipe and I'm aware that the fact that I've chosen salad dressing is kind of a lame cop out. Life has been going by quick these days! I'm halfway through my pregnancy and most of my cooking these days has consisted of quick meals and old favorites. I'm really glad that I haven't (yet) experienced the same aversion to raw meats that I had with John. I couldn't even think about raw chicken and barely cooked when I was pregnant with him. This one hasn't been like that. I'm just tired and lazy and looking for the quickest option of anything that I can find! With that, I'm really excited that summer is almost here and farmers market season is in effect. I can now grab fresh veggies to make quick easy meals. Fresh and delicious vegetables really do make decisions easier. I grabbed a cheap head of green leaf lettuce last week, chopped it all up, cleaned it, and kept it in a huge bowl in the fridge with a paper towel to keep the moisture regulated. A week later and its still tasting great! So much better in quality and price that the bagged stuff I usually buy. Another thing that I absolutely love about this time of year is that the grill and smoker come out and my menu responsibility becomes a lot easier. BBQ and veggie season is upon us at last!
Its Memorial weekend this weekend, which is one of our favorites. Its a great 3 day weekend and the full crazy hot summer hasn't yet smacked us in the face. We also were married on the Sunday of Memorial weekend, 7 years ago, so it brings back a lot of fun memories for us. We chose to steer away from major plans this year and kept our scheduling on the front end of the weekend to allow us some relaxation time. Today was our chosen day to get our BBQ on. Shawn put a pork shoulder in the smoker around 5am and let it go all day. I decided to partner it with some baked beans (one of John's favorites), fresh corn, and an orzo pasta salad. I debated using a recipe, but wanted to make my own decisions about the veggies which is how I ended up looking for a dressing recipe.
I've had this book for many years. I believe it came from a clearance rack somewhere and I can't say that I've made much from it, but the recipes all look really good and simple so I've held onto it for years. I looked up a few recipes and this one sold me. It looked really good, featured items that I had, and could be used for vegetable marinades in the future. I started by mixing a cup of oil and 2/3 cup of red wine vinegar. I added a teaspoon each of crushed fresh garlic, Worcestershire sauce (love this stuff), sugar, salt, dry mustard, paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper. Mixed it together, added some to my salad, and put the rest in the fridge for future use. My salad had orzo, cucumber, red pepper, zucchini, carrot, and peas in it. I let it all chill out for a few hours in the fridge until dinner was ready and then took it out about 20 minutes before dinner.
We ate outside on our back porch and everything was great! Shawn's pork was (as always) awesome and his vinegar based BBQ sauce was perfect for dipping. I always love to make vinegar based pasta salads to go the meal simply because it complements without taking over. This salad dressing was perfect for that! I can't say that any one flavor stood out from the other and I mean that in the best possible way. The flavors meshed well with the inevitable sauces and spices that end up on the plate toward the end of the meal, too. This was just one of those picture perfect meals. I cut the kernels from the remaining piece of corn and added them to the salad for tomorrows leftovers. I plan to dress some lettuce with the extra dressing, top with the orzo, and have me a nice little lunch.
I have to say that making my own dressing was really easy and cost effective. I'm not saying I won't continue buying my own, but its a nice switch up on occasion.
Mrs Farfsings "One Dressing Fits All"- Down Home Cooking from Wesson
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup red wine vinegar
1tsp crushed fresh garlic
1tsp Worcestershire sauce
1tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp ground pepper
Prepare dressing early in the day. Pour all ingredients in a resealable glass jar or airtight plastic container; Close tightly. Shake dressing vigorously until salt and sugar have dissolved and all ingredients have been well blended. Refrigerate until ready to serve; shake again vigorously just before serving.