Annapurna is the Hindu goddess of food: The Mother Who Feeds

Annapurna is the Hindu goddess of food: The Mother Who Feeds.
"In this world, apart from our spiritual practice, there is no other place or power that we can rely on." Supreme Master Ching Hai

Monday, September 26, 2011

I'll be sticking to recipes from now on....

Oh, yeah. I heard it alright. Apparently I cannot discuss family, even with great sarcasm, without eternal retribution.... so I will just stick to recipes and funny anecdotal whimsy from now on. Apparently my "tone" of humor does not translate well to the black and white.

SO.... My foodie friend Jacki and I have been discussing vinaigrette's, and our obsession with flavored vinegars.  Since a friend of mine on the coast sent me an email today wondering about vinaigrette's, this discussion was apropos. Sarah was telling me that she had been served a salad in a restaurant coated with a lovely balsamic vinaigrette, and that she'd been trying to replicate it ever since. The problem, she said, was that she couldn't replicate the "creamy" texture, and wondered if I knew how to make it. 

The misnomer here is that people think there's actually cream in creamy vinaigrette's, when we all know that if we think about it, cream and vinegar=curdles=yuck! I actually learned how to make a creamy vinaigrette from my sister Karena, who makes a kick-ass salad dressing from scratch. She was the one who taught me how to make the worlds best snack plate, so kudos to you, sissy, for showing this old dog a new trick.  

So back to the creamy: there are a few different ways to achieve that creamy consistency that you're looking for in a good home-made vinaigrette. If you want a cheesy component, any soft cheese crumble adds a wonderful creaminess. I like blue cheese crumbles, which have their own musty flavor and texture. But if you are wanting a non-cheesy creamy dressing, the best way to "cream" up your concoction is with fruit or mustard. I prefer Coleman's dry mustard, but bottled works too, but with a sharper flavor.  Other must haves: fresh garlic, some kind of fresh or dried herb, extra virgin olive oil, and salt. Don't be stingy with that salt!

Give this recipe a whirl, literally:

Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette, ala Jacki

A handful of fresh or frozen blueberries
About 1/8th cup of Blueberry Basil Vinegar, or plain balsamic if you don't have a flavored vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 clove of garlic
Olive oil
8-10 basil leaves washed and thinly sliced
In a blender puree the blueberries until smooth. Add to blender: vinegar, some S/P and garlic.  Puree.  Now, slowly drizzle in olive oil until you get the consistency and taste of dressing you want. There is no specific formula for this, the trick is TASTE. Most of the time, it works out to be a little over half a cup.  After blending, readjust the seasonings by TASTE and then add the basil.  Give all of this a good stir, or even one or two more pulses in the blender and there you have it...HOMEMADE dressing..lasts a good week or so. This works with any fresh/frozen fruit, and any flavored vinegar. Just think about your fruit combinations before you whirl. 

Happy "Fall Greens" dressing! 


  1. Why thank you....thank you very much for the shout-out. I take great pride in my snack plate. Bekah also makes a kick-ass one---LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the snack plate!

  2. Dayna, I didn't know you were blogging. I love to hear about your wonderful meals and see your pics on FB. I will for sure try this recipe and thank you for the great tips. If you don't mind I will be following your blog from time to time.
    Also, I think you have a great family, always admired how many sisters you have and they are all so fun!