Continuing to Dress Better
As promised, a follow up to my last post about DIY salad dressings. In the midst of winter, flavorful tomatoes are in short supply. Sun-dried tomatoes are a good way to bring tomato flavor into the depths of winter.
Here’s a creamy, flavorful dressing that goes beyond the basic vinaigrette, but is still quick and easy to make.
SUN-DRIED TOMATO FETA DRESSING
(makes 2 cups)
• Immersion (or “stick”) blender, food processor or blender.
4 each Sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil)
2 cloves Garlic – roughly chopped
1 small Shallot – roughly chopped
2 Tblspns Capers (optional)
⅓ cup Water
¼ cup Basil Leaves
1 Tblspn Maple Syrup or Brown Sugar
1/3 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
½ tspn Black Pepper
4 oz. Feta Cheese
2/3 cup Olive Oil
• Soak tomatoes in hot water for 15-20 minutes.
• If using immersion blender, place all ingredients except feta and oil, in a tall, clear cylindrical container or measuring cup. Blend until fairly smooth.
• Crumble feta and add to container.
• With blender running, slowly drizzle in oil.
• If consistency is too thick, blend in water, one tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
Other herbs, such as marjoram, dill, parsley or chives may be substituted for basil according to your taste. This dressing works well on a traditional greens-based salad, but its bold flavor also works well when mixed with blanched and chilled green beans, drained and rinsed garbanzo beans and chopped Kalamata olives (as pictured below). You can substitute other green veggies (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers or even kale) for the green beans. And cooked grains (farro, wheat berries, barley) or any other type of canned beans can replace the garbanzos.
Romanesco Broccoli with White Beans
There were no Brussels sprouts at the Aptos Farmers’ Market today, so I had to make do with another favorite veggie: Romanesco broccoli. It’s kind of a cross between broccoli and cauliflower with beautiful, light green spires. Romanesco is milder and less bitter than broccoli and has an almost creamy texture. I thought that texture would blend well with white beans (another one of my favorites). I perked up the flavor a bit with crispy garlic slices and sun-dried tomatoes. This recipe would also work well with those Brussels sprouts I was craving or regular broccoli.
1 head Romanesco Broccoli–cut into florets
4 each Sun-Dried Tomatoes
2 Tblspns Olive Oil
4 cloves Garlic–thinly sliced
1 can White Beans–drained and rinsed
to taste Salt & Pepper
Soak sun-dried tomatoes in hot water for 20-30 minutes. Drain and julienne. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add Romanesco and return to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes, then drain and run under cold water. Heat oil in a saute pan over medium heat until oil shimmers. Add garlic slices and saute until lightly browned. Remove garlic with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add tomatoes to the pan and stir and saute for a minute. Add Romanesco and cook and stir for another 2 minutes. Add beans and season with salt and pepper. Stir and cook for another 2 minutes. Add garlic slices and serve immediately.