I was watching Housewives of Atlanta last night — my Sunday night guilty pleasure. One of the scenes had the infamous and now RICH, Nene Leakes having dinner with Kandi and Kandi’s mother at Nene’s house. It was a casual setting, with the kitchen nook recessed in a suburb neighborhood of Atlanta.
While I don’t even remember what the conversation was about, one thing that painfully stood out were the two bottles of store bought salad dressing.
My reaction was internal but the more I thought about it, the more I was confused and made odd faces. Why? I have no idea. I could chalk it up to the expectation that if her 14 year old son is rockin’ a Louis Vuitton travel bag, and she’s struttin’ $1,000 (at least) Christian Louboutin pumps — because she’s RICH — surely a bit more refined food would seem in order and appropriate, no?
Or is it just me?
Aside from a fabulous shoe collection and some prized handbags, surely, my palate will be one of the first things to change if I were rich. Fortunately, my palate is already there and so the need to be RICH isn’t a requisite to enjoy good, or least better food.
Swear I’m not being snobbish, but something about $2-$3 salad dressing bottles from the store just irk me as of late. I have had some in my lifetime? Sure! Do I have some in my fridge now?? Of course. In fact, I have a a really good poppy seed dressing that I just love. But, don’t get me wrong. That bad boy is mixed with some homemade concoction to make an even better topping.
With Thanksgiving just a few days away, it’s safe to say that many a salads will take up space on American tables all across the country. No matter the type, more likely than not, a dressing will be standing beside it.
While yes in fact it’s super easy to grab a bottle or two or three of your favorite flavor while you’re shopping for the other ingredients, it’s just as easy to make your own dressing at home. The benefits are incredible. You’re in total control of the taste, amount, fat, caloric count, etc… and if you have to, you can adjust it.
This is where my admission comes.
A few weeks ago, I made this incredibly good salad (now would be appropriate to reiterate that I’m not a huge fan of salads–no matter how good the dressing is) and a homemade dressing to toss with. It was divine, really. The flavors and consistency where there– right where I like them to be. The dressing, a vinaigrette made up of two of my favorite fall scents and ingredients, paired perfectly with the salad.
However, when I pulled the dressing out to have with something else this past weekend, I realized it wasn’t all I had talked it up to be! SCREEEEEECH!
I did 5 minute taste test to discern what was missing seeing as though it had worked so well with salad.
I figured it out… olive oil type, salt and more honey.
I initially used a light olive oil which isn’t as fragrant or falvorful. I switched it up this time and used extra virgin. I have plenty of 4 different varieties, but I had gone for what was a hand’s reach… I also realized that I had sacrificed a pinch of salt because the halloumi cheese sufficed in sodium levels– adding any more would have killed it.
Lastly, the bitterness of the vinegars (both of which are specialty and can be purchased at boutique or gourmet shops) needed to be better balanced with a bit more sweetness, hence more honey! I stuck with the orange blossom, just added more.
An easy fix.
I went back to the salad and my modified dressing worked even better. That just means it’ll work just fine with the salads I plan I making this Thursday. I can imagine drizzling it over some blanched green beans… a squash and egg salad and a few other dishes.
It’s fragrant, pretty, tasty and much lower in fat and calories than your thick and creamy alternatives which I admittedly used to love!
Not diggin’ if you love those dressings, just offering up a bit of a nice homemade option that will keep for a while!
And, you don’t need to be rich to make and enjoy simple deliciousness!
Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.
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Lavender and Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2.5 tbsp. lavender vinegar
- 2 tbsp. fig balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp. orange blossom honey* (sweeten to taste)
- 1 tsp. fresh lavender
- pinch of salt