When my husband told me at midnight Sunday that we had a potluck going-away party to attend for one of his colleagues Monday evening, I panicked. We’d been on the go all weekend, I’d done no grocery shopping whatsoever, and wasn’t going to be able to buy anything between going to work Monday morning and then jetting home for half an hour before the party. So, I used what I had on hand.
Grabbing a few fistfuls of whatever greens came in my CSA this week — arugula, mesclun, head lettuce, a splash of frisee (OK, that last one isn’t so ordinary) — I pulled together a summery mix and then made my own strawberry vinaigrette. Top it with fresh strawberries, some crushed almonds and crumbled feta, and you have an impressive looking meal in 10 minutes.
THE DRESSING RECIPE (inspired by Rachael Ray)
- 2 teaspoons of jam. I used strawberry because I was putting fresh strawberries into the salad as well.
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons EVOO
- salt and pepper to taste
Start by whisking the jam, then add the balsamic, then the olive oil and then seasoning. I doubled this dressing recipe because it had to feed a crowd. Toss the dressing with the greens, top with fresh sliced strawberries, crumbled feta and ground almonds, and voila!
It helps to keep things like crumbled feta, fruit and almonds around to complement pantry staples like EVOO, balsamic, salt and pepper. I also like my easy chopper for quickly smashing nuts for salads, sauces and stir frys.
Once I started making salad dressings from scratch, I stopped eating the store-bought kind completely. It’s so quick and easy to do it yourself, and then YOU are in control of what goes into your body.
What about you — what are your pantry essentials? What’s your potluck go-to dish?