What is the best part of a spring garden – homemade Italian Salad Dressing? Sure, watching everything grow from tiny seeds or seedlings into half mature plants is exciting, but nothing can compare to the anticipation of a fresh salad straight from your own soil.
For many of us, lettuce, radishes, green onions, and sugar snap peas are the first to emerge in the garden, and the first to be harvested. And because we haven’t been able to grow anything since last fall, the exhilaration of finally being able to eat our own food again is at it’s peak. Just knowing that it is ‘yours’ makes it taste so much better – never mind that because it has been grown from your own soil it really does taste and is much better for you!
When I grew up, salad dressing came from a bottle. We all liked different types – for me as a youngster, it was ranch dressing – and lots of it! But we also had bottles of French and Italian that would be used by my parents and siblings. As the years went by and I learned that dressing was to accent the salad, not over take it, Italian dressing became my favorite. And not the bottle versions – it has to be homemade. I use it not only on my garden salads, but also to marinate meat and use it as the flavor to my cold pasta salad.
It is very simple to make and of course, it is without the preservatives that are found in the grocery store versions. Feel free to experiment with the amount of the ingredients – this is the best guess to the measurements that I use, since I just typically throw them on top of the salad and mix. However, based on the number of requests I get for the ‘recipe’, I decided it was time to write it down and make it official.
Homemade Italian Dressing Recipe
⅓ cup olive oil 3½ tablespoons vinegar (suggestions: salad, red wine, or balsamic) 2 tablespoons grated Romano cheese 1 teaspoon granulated sugar (agave or honey can be substituted) 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ¾ teaspoon salt 2 cloves of garlic, minced (1/4 teaspoon garlic powder)
1. Add all of the ingredients into a container with a lid – we use a mason jar.
2. Shake to combine – approximately 10-15 seconds.
3. Drizzle over salad and serve!
**Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Mary and Jim