Monday, July 27, 2009

Basil-Lemon Vinagrette

I had some friends over last week for lunch and decided to try out a new recipe. It's sometimes hard to know what to feed guests, especially for lunch so I whipped up a delicious Chef's Salad with Basil-Lemon Vinagrette. This recipe makes 2 cups of vinagrette. I made the salad in a huge pasta dish and the vinagrett covered all of the salad with a bit extra. It will keep nicely in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Let it come to room temperature before using it or it's just gross. Nothing worse than cold solidified olive oil.
Basil-Lemon Vinagrette
2 cups of freshly washed packed basil leaves
1 cup of vinegar
1 cup of olive oil
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
pinch salt
4 tablespoons of sugar

Place 2 cups of packed basil leaves in a bowl.

Zest the peel of one lemon and add it to the bowl.

Add all of the lemon juice. Not the seeds. Just the juice.

Pour in one cup of vinegar. I used plain white vinegar.

Add one cup of Olive Oil.

Add the salt and sugar right on top. Do not skimp on the sugar. This is a tart dressing and you need the sugar for balance.

Use your handy dandy immersion blender or food processor-which ever you prefer- and blend until the basil is broken down into tiny pieces and the vinegar and olive oil is mixed well.

Taste and adjust the seasoning. You may need to add a bit more sugar.

This was a shrimp salad I made for another lunch date. Romaine lettuce from the garden, carrot shreds, red pepper, scallions, eggs from the chickens, some feta and big shards of parmesan.
The Vinagrette is very light and tart and sweet all at the same time. I could not get enough of it and ate it all week. A little homemade bread helps to sop up any leftover dressing that may be hiding in your bowl.
Yes-it's that good.

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