Monday, July 12, 2010

0 Recipe #135: Greek Salad Dressing with Fresh Herbs & Feta

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A while back, I listed a recipe for Greek salad. At the time, I didn't supply a homemade dressing recipe, but instead listed a bottled salad dressing. Shocking, I know. :) This was obviously before I'd decided to focus on creating recipes made completely from scratch, including the dressing. ;)

So, to rectify that, I've decided to include an original recipe for freshly-made Greek salad dressing to replace the bottled dressing listed in the aforementioned salad recipe.

Fresh dressing is so quick & easy to make. Frankly, these days, I would rather make fresh salad dressing than use bottled. Not just for health reasons, as it's easier to control the fat content & general ingredients used, but also for flavor. Let's face it: Freshly made dressing beats bottled any day of the week. :)

So, without further ado, I give you...

Greek Salad Dressing with Fresh Herbs & Feta

4 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp. distilled white vinegar
5 Tbsp. extra virgin (Greek) olive oil
1/4 tsp. Dijon mustard (bottled, not dried)
5/8 tsp. fresh garlic, finely minced (about 1 small clove)
2 tsp. red onion, diced
1 tsp. nonfat imported Greek feta cheese
1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper
1/4 tsp. coarse (sea or kosher) salt
1 Tbsp. fresh (Greek) oregano leaves (rigani), finely minced & densely packed (or 1 tsp. dried)
1 Tbsp. fresh basil, finely minced & densely packed (or 1 tsp. dried)
1 tsp. fresh mint, roughly chopped & densely packed (or about 1/4 tsp. dried)
1 tsp. chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, finely minced & densely packed
1/2 tsp. Kalamata olives, pitted & halved (optional)

Directions: Place ingredients into a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until emulsified. Place in a tightly covered jar (or creut) and shake vigorously to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Chill dressing at least 2 hours before serving. Shake again right before serving. Refrigerate or serve immediately.

Yield: Makes 1/2 c. (or 4 oz.). (Serves approximately 3-4 persons.)

Chef's Notes: I prefer the President brand of nonfat feta cheese, in block form (which tends to last longer & is also a much better value for the money than the crumbled kind). Frankly, you can't really taste the difference between the full fat and the nonfat, because in either format, it's a salty, somewhat dry-tasting cheese. :) So, this way, you can still eat a meal that is both healthy AND flavorful. :)

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