Feb 12, 2009

Balsamic Vinaigrette - Desi Style

Finally a recipe. It's been a long time. In my defense, I've been traveling around parts of India I've never been to and it's been a blast for all of my senses. I'm really tempted to dedicate a post just to my memories and travels in the past couple of months. In time, I think I will.

Now back to food. A couple of my friends here are slowly getting into salads now. It makes me really happy! Fortunately we get some of the ingredients to make some decent vinaigrettes and I'm going to describe the dressing I've been using here for the past few months. Since I'm in India and us Indians can't be buggered [hello british slang] to measure things, this will be a free flow recipe. It's sort of a rap recipe (improvised with no measurements) but with the basics being the same.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

Balsamic Vinegar -1/2 cup
Olive Oil -1/2-3/4 cup
Garlic - finely chopped - 6-10 cloves
Italian spices - dried. Anything and everything seems to be alright (mainly: oregano, rosemary, thyme, basil, marjoram, etc.) Pinches of everything! Remember a little of dried spices goes a long way.
English Mustard - VERY VERY little. I should be using Dijon Mustard, but I couldn't get my hands on it.
Pepper - 1/2 tsp or lesser
Salt (can omit this)

In a jar (which you can close and mix) place the finely chopped garlic, add pinches of the spices you have on hand, pepper, balsamic vinegar, and mustard. to this add the olive oil and mix. Shake the jar/bottle for about a minute. Taste it to ensure the flavours are balanced.

Usually it keeps well for about a month or more (i've used it up within a month) and gets better with time.

Ice berg lettuce, Green-leaf lettuce, tomato cubes, onion slices, black olives, slivers of carrots, cubes of cucumbers, slices of capsicum/green bell pepper.

I've also added ripe papaya and apples when available.

For those addicted to non-vegetarianism: Marinate a chicken breast with the salad dressing for about 15 minutes. Then grill it. Once cooked, chop it into cubes and toss along with the veggies.

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