Make a Simple Salad Special

It seems like I buy at least a couple bottles of salad dressing every time I go to the store.  And it seems like I’m knee-deep in salad dressing every time I’m pawing through the pantry looking for something else.  So it seems like I should have had some salad dressing when friends came for dinner last week.  But no, we were completely out.  Not even a 1/2″ dribble languishing in the bottom of some bottle on the frig door.

But sometimes, running out of ta pantry staple can be a good thing as I discovered tonight.

I still haven’t gotten to the store to buy salad dressing, and the consequences  are even worse than running out with guests at the table.  After gardening and computering all day, I just wanted something simple for dinner.  Some leftover salad topped by canned tuna and a bowl of soup sounded just perfect–until I remembered our salad dressing situation.

Was I going to have to futz and fuss with a homemade salad dressing before I could sit down and eat?  Happily, the words of our local food editor, Cindy Sutter, came to my rescue.  A couple weeks ago she had written an article titled, aptly, “Easy-to-Make-Salad Dressing.”  What was in the basic recipe she learned from her mom?  Oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper, maybe some herbs?

With those words of wisdom in my ear, I got out a little bowl and whipped up a little dressing.  Taking only two minutes, it didn’t even come close to dashing my hopes for a simple and fast dinner.  Best of all, I got to experience the point of Cindy’s article:  That a freshly homemade dressing, even if super simple, tastes a whole lot better than something that’s been sitting in a bottle for who knows how long.

Which brings me back to the point of this article:  That a fast, fresh salad dressing is an easy way to turn simple tuna salad into expensive bistro fare.

Tuna Salad with Balsamic Dressing

Using a fork, whisk the following together in a medium-sized bowl:

  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. dried leaf oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

To the dressing, add

  • 1 can water-packed, salted Albacore tuna, drained

Use the fork to break tuna into small pieces and mix with dressing to coat thoroughly.  Place the following in a Big Salad Bowl (be sure to see my blog on these special bowls:)

  • 2 cups leftover green salad (e.g., red leaf lettuce, shredded carrots, tomatoes and, for something a little different, thinly sliced cauliflower florets)

Add tuna and toss gently to combine with salad.  Taste and add more salt, pepper or vinegar, if desired.

Find out more about making vegetables a lively and luscious part of your life with the help of the Vegetable a Month Club.

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