Monday, November 14, 2005

No Free Fats!

For a long time I've been searching for a delicious combination of ingredients. My goal? A simple, delicious, and healthy recipe for salad dressing with no free fats. Free fats are fats that have been extracted from food like olive oil, corn oil, and Canola. They give a dressing creaminess and work to emulsify all the ingredients into smoothness. But, they are not as good for you as fats that are in whole food. Avocados and cashews work nicely in salad dressings in whole food form, but each has their drawbacks. Avocados loose their freshness quickly and are generally expensive and are not common in the kitchen on a daily basis. Cashews need to be ground in the blender for a long time in order to get the smoothness that's desired and a dressing with cashews needs to be stirred before use and can be generally inconvenient if stored. Recently I found a recipe that uses olives as the whole food source of fat in the salad dressing. I tried it, tweaked it, and have had good results. The basic recipe is posted below. It calls for ripe, green olives. They would be perfect in this recipe, but not all markets carry them (I have yet to try this option). Instead, I have used black olives and pimento stuffed green ones. Both times the dressing was delicious. The fresh lemon juice gives a wonderful 'tang' to the recipe and the olives give a creamy texture and rich flavor. The basic recipe is seasoned only with salt and fresh garlic. Other options work fine, though. I've tried Italian Seasoning as an addition as well as soy sauce, garlic and onion powders, and sweet basil. Each time the results were delicious! This dressing stores will in the fridge for later use. Place in a bottle or jar with a tight lid. Enjoy the results of this simply delicious and healthy dressing for a green salad!

The dressing in this photo was made with black olives. Ingredients for the salad are: romaine, baby spinach, fresh parsley, green onions, chopped broccoli, and carrot coins. Garnish with lemon wedge and mint leaves or green onion.

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