My Mom had suggested serving a leafy salad. She figured that was a simple thing to make, but instead, I stressed. I was worried about wasting soggy leftovers and truthfully, I don’t have a go-to salad dressing yet. I eat what you see on my blog, and I rarely make simple side salads with a meal.
Salad dressings are a simple ratio of oil to vinegar. My family’s traditional vinaigrette employs a 3-2-1 ratio, with 3 parts extra virgin olive oil, to 2 parts vinegar, to 1 part sugar with salt and pepper to taste.
However, fortuitously, earlier this week Dawn told me about her new favourite salad dressing, excited because it was oil-free. Super simple. Just as easy with a different 3-2-1 ratio omitting oil.
3 parts balsamic vinegar
2 parts strong mustard
1 part maple syrup (or agave)
I am sure most people don’t need much guidance in the simple salad dressing component, but I thought this was definitely worthy to share. It is a healthy and vibrant dressing, so totally Janet-style. Throw it on top of your favourite leafy greens and enjoy!
While I didn’t snap too many photos of the food during the party, I still hope to share some of the recipes. I decided the best way to avoid the Rob-veto (just kidding!) was to simply try some seemingly simple recipes at the time of the party. Thankfully, it all paid off!
Along with this salad, I also served the 11-Spice Lentil Salad with Capers and Currants, which is definitely morphing into my signature no-think potluck dish. Everyone really enjoyed it at the barbecue. (I also served it to a bunch of other friends, where I was delighted to see how often people dived in for more, despite eating it with chopsticks – now that takes skill!). I also boiled some fresh corn on the cob. Rob tirelessly tended to the meat at the BBQ, where he also perfectly grilled my roasted portobello mushroom which I served with sweet potato fries and a miso gravy (recipes to come!). My peach smoothies were also a hit. I had planned to serve watermelon with a mint pesto as dessert, but everyone was stuffed (and how can that compete with the macarons and other treats brought by Rob’s cousin?).
Anyways, now that I have this under my belt, it didn’t seem nearly so scary after all!
(Although I hate repeating recipes for guests, so these will have to make my rounds through my family’s side next!)
3-2-1 Super Simple Salad
1 head of Romaine lettuce, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 carrot, grated
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp strong mustard
1 tbsp maple syrup
1. Toss together lettuce, tomato, cucumber and carrot (and whatever else you like in your salad).
2. Whisk together vinegar, mustard and maple syrup. Drizzle over salad just prior to serving and mix well.