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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Homeade Salad Dressing Mix...

Does your spice cabinet look like mine? I am willing to guess it does. More of a spice cave, my dark pantry shelf is crammed with every spice imaginable.
Like you...I am often wooed at the store by a beautiful jar of herby mystery, "What does that taste like?", or the whole jar of herb you bought for the recipe you made once that took a 1/4 tsp of the herb. An now it sits there on the shelf, feeling left-out and neglected as you reach again and again for the Parsley jar next to it. Not that Parsley is the best herb in the shack, but its familiar, so it gets used. We have all been there.
So what to do with all those herbs and spices? I make salad dressing mixes. Its a great way to use up all those herbs, and making salad dressing is so easy, that if using a mix—we all know its even easier!
With a repertoire of a few different dressing bases, and a few of your own pre-made mixes—all prepared with items you already have, well, you can become the new foodie genius on the block. Gosh, if you make a few batches and packages it, say, as a hostess gift to your next dinner party, well—people may just start calling you Martha.

Ranch Mix/Italian Mix
(Mix with creamy base for Ranch, or with vinaigrette base for Italian)
  • 1 tbs dried parsley
  • 1 tbs dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried onion or garlic flake (powder may be used)
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1 tsp dried shallot (optional if you do not have)
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
Poppy Seed Mix:
(Mix with any base)
  • 1 tbs lemon pepper
  • 2 tbs poppy seed
  • 1 tbs parsley
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
I like to blend mine in a mortal and pestle, I like the manual labor of it, and the aroma of the spices and herbs wafting up as I grind them in the bowl. But you can leave your herbs and spices as they are, or whir them for a few seconds in a mini-food chopper.

Then add the mix to a base! Its simple, 1 tbs mix to 1 cup of base. Scale up for larger batches!

Creamy Base
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, or milk
  • 1 tsp mustard (any kind)
Lite-Creamy Base
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt or Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp mustard (any kind)
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice or vinegar (any kind)
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp mustard (any kind)

1 comment:

  1. I just plain love, love, love this idea and the gifty part is even better. My husband eats his salad plain, as in naked, nada, nothing on them, I on the other hand like a more lively approach. Nothing that touches vinegar ever touches his plate. Over the years I have stopped buying different bottled dressings, I mean just how many will your refrigerator door hold! Thank you Miss Larissa for shining the spotlight in your spice corner, I am going to clear mine out to see what hidden treasures are behind my parsley.
    The temperatures are reaching the 40's today here in NE, the ice is melting and mud season is on the horizon here in the country... life if good!
    Ginnie T