Hi there, happy weekend to you! Ok guys, my salad alarm is seriously sounding. Do you have a salad alarm? If not, you’re probably wondering what the heck I’m talking about! So here it is… I have this weird thing that I really only crave salads once the weather gets warm, so at near 90º in Cbus today, my salad alarm is blaaaring! Once salad season arrives, I love finding fresh ways to make them. I had one in Florida recently that was phenomenal with an amazing Basil Vinaigrette, unfortunately, the dressing was local so I couldn’t buy it. I’ve never once been inspired to make my own dressing (why would I do that when I can buy it and it’s just as good?!) but since tasting this palette pleasing unique basil vinaigrette, I’ve been trying to recreate it, and I think I got it (or at least close enough for my taste buds)! Score! It’s soooo yummy and stupid easy! So now I think, why would I pay more money on store bought dressing when I can make it at home and it’s waaaaay tastier?! To those that have preached the homemade dressing gospel, I hear you, and I’m a believer. This stuff is so good that it’s just plain silly to limit it’s delightfulness to salads, hence the long recipe name.
Homemade Basil Vinaigrette (Not Just for Salad!) Dressing
3 minutes prep time 2 ½ cups
1 cup basil olive oil (I get my basil olive oil from Costco, but if you don’t have basil, regular olive oil will work just fine)
1 ½ cups balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons dried basil
2 tablespoons minced garlic I took the easy route with jarred minced garlic, I probably would have used just 1 tablespoon if I had used fresh garlic so as not to overtake the other flavors)
1 tablespoon sugar (or Stevia)
Salt to taste
I love using my Good Seasons Cruet (that comes free with the dressing packets) to make homemade dressing because it makes it really easy and keeps well. It makes it this easy, to be exact: pour all of the ingredients into the cruet, shake it, serve. Done and done. I promised easy, right?
The dressing will keep on the counter for 2 – 3 weeks.
Since I love this stuff so much, I wondered what else I could make with it. Then, I stumbled upon this container of fresh mozzarella in the fridge. Mmmmm, fresh mozz. Mmmm hmmmm… Ok, sorry, I needed a moment there. So I marinated the fresh mozzarella in the basil vinaigrette and ohhhh emmm geeee. You might as well just go ahead and pick some up when you’re getting the other ingredients. Trust me. And then, please don’t hate me for introducing you.
So you’re probably thinking… basil, balsamic, fresh mozzarella… we’re just missing the 4th buddy, tomato! Nope, don’t sweat it, I got you. How adorable are these Caprese Salad Skewers from Jessica Erin at Stuck on Sweet?! I built the balsamic and olive oil right into the mozzarella for you, so just slide on some basil and a tomato! Pure perfection!
By this point you’re likely aware that I am quite fond of skewering. Yes, I made it a verb. And with these… getting a perfect bite of one of my favorite foursomes of ingredients… let’s just go ahead and say it. Jessica Erin’s skewer game is on point! Side note, I knew she would be my imaginary blogger friend when I read that she fell in love with cooking when The Food Network became her favorite channel as a teen (not that she’s imaginary, the imaginary part is us being friends 😉 ). The Food Network and Top Chef are what did it for me too. I wish I had known her when I lived in Chicago. Is this awkward? That I’m talking about an imaginary friend who is a real person? Oh well, anyway, I highly recommend you check out her blog; her recipes are delicious and the photography is STUNNING!
Photo: Stuck on Sweet
Ok, moving on from the weird imaginary friend overshare, back to the Basil Vinaigrette topic at hand. The next logical thought was to try it as a marinade. Yeahhhh, good call. Grilled chicken marinated in this special sauce would be perfectly delicious, but I like this Caprese theme we’re going with (doesn’t Caprese feel like Summer?), so we’re gonna go with it. This Chicken Caprese recipe from Gimme Some Oven is the perfect way to utilize the juicy marinated chicken. Again, I gotcha covered with the Balsamic glaze already in the chicken. Gimme Some Oven is another one of my favorite food blogs for inspiration and eye candy, along with winning the best food blog title ever, as voted by me. 😉
Photo: Gimme Some Oven
I’ve still got a little of this liquid gold left from a couple weeks back, any suggestions to help me figure out how to best utilize the rest? I hope you try this Balsamic Vinaigrette not just for Salad Dressing and love it as much as we do!
Enjoy the rest of the weekend, and thanks for stopping by!