Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Recipe for Success

When we were invited to our friend's crabfest, I offered to bring a side of some sort. I anticipated bringing a tried and true standard like French Potato Salad or my mother's (now slightly modified) recipe for macaroni salad. When our little family arrived home two days before the party from an unplanned mini vacation, we were surprised to see our garden had come to bear fruit in the few unexpected days we had been away!

The answer was clear for my addition to Saturday's party menu: sharply seasoned homemade pickles and a garden salad from all the vegetable's we came home to find.

For the salad, I put everything from that early harvest that I had cut and plucked from the ground:
Spinach, carrot greens, beet greens, sliced-funky-shaped-baby carrots, green bell pepper, paper thin Candy Cane Beets and Kirby Cucumbers.
And after some inspirational munching-as-I-made-it-salad, it felt like the slight bitterness of the greens called for a creamier, if not sweetishlike dressing. And I wanted to use some of my herbs too, of course.
So I made a dressing.
A rather good one too, if I do say so. Unctuous, even.
It was a hit.
I was even kindly asked for the recipe! But I didn't have one.
I've never been one to write down my recipes (or even follow one) so I thought this might be a good opportunity to try something new. So, without further ado...

Orangeya' Glad It's Sorta Like Green Goddess & Pesto? Vinagrette

*2 Quality Oranges zested and halved
*1 Fragrant Lemon zested and halved
*1-2 Cloves of Freshly Peeled Garlic (jarred is gross FYI)
*1/2 Cup Natural Raw Almonds
*2 Tablespoons of dijon (I used Trader Joe's dijon 'cuz I just really love how hot it is)
*2 Big Fistfuls of fresh basil (dried is not even an option here, kids)
*8-12 Sprigs of Thyme (sans the woody stems - soft green stems are just fine)
*1 Half sprig of fresh Rosemary, chopped (like maybe a 1-2" piece)
*Kosher Salt to taste; about 1/2 Teaspoon+
*Fresh Cracked Black Pepper to taste; about 1/2 teaspoon+
*1/2 Cup of Olive Oil (I happened to use half "good finishing oil" + half run of the mill extra virgin)
Yes, this is gonna smell as radaroni as it tastes.

Ok, now,
1. PULSE the garlic, orange & lemon zest and some of the salt together to get things going
2. ADD the almonds & dijon mustard PULSE a few times
3. ADD the juice from both oranges, half the juice of the lemon & all the herbs. PULSE once or twice & then turn ON the machine with the fill lid removed on the top of the machine
4. STREAM in the oil through the fill chute while the blade is running until everything turns pale green and gets thickish but not mayo-ie. If that happens, the mayo thing I'm saying, then add the other half of lemon's juice.
5. ADD more Salt & Pepper until it tastes perfect for you.
6. Eat (with salad, bread, or any edible vehicle).
7. Drink something.
8. Be happy.

Thanks to A&A for the great party and all those Old Bay crabs, too!

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