Continuing the resolution theme, I bring you a delicious salad dressing. Bryan and I make a salad every night as part of our dinner. He is in charge of washing greens and I usually throw together a quick vinaigrette. It is one of the few kitchen constants at our place, and so of course we sometimes get bored and feel the need to mix it up. Mixing it up usually means a variation on the vinaigrette—wild, I know. I am happy to have found this wildly exciting garlic dressing in Andrew Carmellini’s Urban Italian.
The dressing is essentially a vinaigrette with roasted garlic thrown in, but it is totally delicious and worth trying. Roasted garlic is something that I rarely make, but when I do I wonder why I don’t make it all of the time. It is so good! If you decide to give this recipe a go, I recommend roasting a few extra heads of garlic which you can use in a variety of applications (spread on a baguette or sandwich, toss with pasta, etc.) This sharp vinaigrette is good on greens with a sprinkle of Parmesan, but would also be nice tossed with grilled vegetables. It will keep for a few days in the fridge.
For the roasted garlic:
- 2 heads garlic
- 2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- a pinch of kosher salt or sea salt
- a pinch of coarse-ground black pepper (1 crack of the pepper mill)
For the dressing:
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup grape seed oil (or corn oil)
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably on the branch (Sicilian or Calabrian) (I obviously just used the jar or oregano)
- 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce, plus another dash
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon sugar
To roast the garlic:
Preheat the oven to 450°.
Cut across the top of each head of garlic to expose some of the garlic flesh.
Place each garlic head cut-side up on a piece of tinfoil big enough to easily wrap it, about 3 inches by 3 inches. Sprinkle the garlic with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Wrap the garlic up in the foil, making a Hershey’s-Kiss shape.
Bake on a baking tray on the center rack in the oven until the cloves are soft and golden brown, about I hour. Cool the garlic in the fridge or freezer until it’s cool to the touch. (The garlic can hold in the fridge for up to 3 days at this stage.)
To prepare the dressing:
Pick up each garlic head by the bottom and squeeze the meat into a fine sieve. With the back of a spoon, press the meat of the garlic through the sieve to get as much through as possible. Be sure to scoop the remnants from the underside of the sieve into the bowl. Discard the skins.
Add the dressing ingredients and 2 tablespoons of water to the bowl, whisking as you go to combine. When all the ingredients are in the bowl, whisk again to make sure the flavors are incorporated. Taste and adjust the seasonings and sweetness.
The dressing will hold in the fridge for up to a week.