Salads for dinner. Meh.
I mean they aren’t bad. I have been on a salad stretch for the better part of this summer. I enjoyed all of the salads we ate, but, and not that I am into sexy food, but salads aren’t sexy…they make us look sexy, sort of, sometimes – when we don’t accompany them with an ice cream sandwich afterward, that is.
And I have decided my biggest problem with salads for dinner is dressing. Dressing is f’ing boring a lot of the time. Store bought dressings mostly suck, and are too sweet or have a consistency that is just gross – glossy and slimy comes to mind, and I am not a fan of any of those things.
I have sampled a ton of salads for dinner this summer and decided that I think it is time to come up with my own- and mainly I mean a dressing. So I did. And this is it. And it is super f’ing awesome.
Dressing is not as hard as I thought to come up with – it basically has three parts and then you make up the rest…
Part 1. Acid. Vinegar or citrus juice or a mix of both.
Part 2. Oil. I am not a fan of straight-up only olive oil in my dressings – I think it is too strong and overwhelms the whole dish. I like maybe one part olive oil to two parts either vegetable oil or my personal favorite avocado oil (has really nothing overwhelming about it).
Part 3. Something sweet. Be it sugar (white or brown) or my go-to in dressing, honey. And this is the one element of dressing that I didn’t realize was necessary and took me literally like 10 times of trying and varying made-up recipes to figure out. When I really think about it, I can’t believe it took me this long to figure it out – I mean, all dressing that I make from someone else’s recipes have some kind of sweet element – even if it is just the tiniest amount…it adds a depth to the dressing that I guarantee, if you are making dressing at home and you can’t seem to get it quite right, is missing from your recipe. Start with a small amount and taste as you go, adding if you like.
Then you just add whatever else you like…dijon? Sure. Any herbs at all – yes please. Garlic? Absolutely. Capers, sundried tomatoes, cheese, literally anything else to make a dressing your own. And DO NOT forget salt…I guess that should be one of the basic parts above, but I feel like that is a given, but ya never know, so..SALT always.
This salad with beef tenderloin, roasted tomatoes and grilled asparagus went great with this dressing, but I have also used with chicken and farro salad with mixed vegetables too.
Beef tenderloin salad with homemade honey vinaigrette
For the salad
- Beef filet or tenderloin grilled for us it must be medium rare, but do as you like
- Crispy prosciutto (I grill mine til it crisps up or put a few slices on a baking sheet in the oven til it crisps)
- Roasted tomatoes grilled works too
- Grilled asparagus
- Romaine lettuce cut into large pieces
For the dressing
- 1/2 cup avocado oil
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegare
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 3 tablespoons of fresh herbs roughly chopped for this salad I used oregano, parsley and marjoram
- Salt and black pepper to taste
Make the dressing.
Whisk all ingredients together until blended. Cannot get any simpler than that!
Assemble the salad.
Place romaine on the bottom of a large bowl, top with remaining ingredients. Pour dressing over the top (this is subjective - start with less dressing and see how it goes) and toss together. Add more dressing and toss again if you prefer a heavier dressed salad. Finish with a little salt (used smoked salt if you have it, it is THE BEST finishing salt ever) and some pepper.