This is my easy, weeknight (and weekend) vinaigrette that I make all the time, all year round. It’s so easy to make — it only takes about 3 minutes — and you can make 2 or 3 X the recipe to keep in the fridge for the week. Some nights, even making a 3-minute dressing is just too daunting, right?
Basic White Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar (Trader Joe’s brand is the best!)
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
pinch of Maldon sea salt flakes
pinch of fresh ground pepper
pinch of marjoram and/or dill
In a small glass dish, add balsamic vinegar, then slowly whisk in the extra virgin olive oil until combined. Finish with salt, pepper and herbs. Add vinaigrette into your greens in a salad bowl, tossing to see how much you need. Taste a leaf. If your salad has no taste, it just needs another pinch of salt and that will bring out all of the flavors.
To make a green salad special (I usually favor Butter / Bibb or baby lettuces), I often add toasted nuts and a sweet fruit like pears, persimmons, or apples. I also like the combination of scallions and avocado.
I love these shaved brussels sprouts (I found them raw in a bag at Trader Joe’s and I think Safeway now carries them too). This would be a lot of work to cut these delicate sprouts up so thinly, so I love that the prep work is already done for you. I should note that I hated brussels sprouts growing up (I think my Mom boiled them and added no seasoning) … but prepared this way (shaved and roasted), they are so tasty, delicate, salty and crispy — they are sure to turn any brussels sprout sceptic into an enthusiast.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts Ingredients: Two (10 ounce) bags of shaved brussels sprouts 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper Directions: Spread the brussels sprouts onto 2 rimmed baking sheets, so they have plenty of room to roast (if they are too crowded, they will steam and stay too moist). Toss with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until nicely browned and a bit crispy. Season to taste with more salt. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 4-6.
I love a tasty wheat berry salad any time of year. Wheat berries are so healthy (filled with fiber, protein and iron) and they have a wonderful chewy texture and a nutty, earthy flavor. This is my favorite recipe that I’ve tried so far – it’s salty, sweet, nutty and chewy. Since this recipe yields about 3 cups, I sometimes double it since it’s great leftover for lunch or dinner (or bites in between). It’s best served warm or at room temperature. Note: I make a vinaigrette with my leftover basil dressing — I just add a splash of vinegar and a pinch of sea salt.
Recipe from the blog Whipped.
Wheat Berry Salad with Feta, Pine Nuts & Basil
1 cup soft wheat berries, rinsed
3 cups water
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt, plus more as needed
1 cup loosely packed basil plus 5 additional large leaves chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
Combine the wheat berries, water and 2 teaspoons salt in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, covered, until plump and chewy, about an hour or so. The berries should stay al dente, and the only way to be sure they’re done is to taste a few. Chewy but firm. Drain and season to taste with more salt.
To make the dressing, put olive oil and 1 cup clean, loosely packed basil leaves in a blender with a pinch of salt. Drizzle desired amount over wheat berries and stir to coat. You can also substitute a store bought pesto mixed with extra olive oil to make it runny enough to use as a dressing.
Toast pine nuts in a pan or oven (I use a toaster oven) until light brown. Toss pine nuts, crumbled feta and ribbons of basil into the salad.
HINT: Stack basil leaves on top of each other. Roll them up the long way to create a “cigarette” shape. Slice it very thin (1/8 inch). You will have nice ribbons of basil for garnish or salads.