Last post I had faux Thousand Island Dressing; this time it’s faux French Dressing
I have no idea what the history of French Dressing is but, trust me, no self-respecting French cook would ever put ketchup in their vinaigrette.
They don’t know what they’re missing.
French dressing has been a restaurant and supermarket staple (in the U.S.) forever. Sometimes it’s just the flavor one is looking for.
When we moved here, and I realized that I would have to make my own salad dressings, I did a lot of experimenting. As time goes on I make what we like and have no idea how close it is to the original. It’s been many years since I’ve had ‘real’ French Dressing.
This, however, I know is good.
Chicken, Asparagus, Spinach Salad
Total time: 40 minutes
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 10oz (300gr) asparagus. cut into 1 1/2 inch (4 cm) lengths
- 4oz (120gr) cherry tomatoes, cut in half (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 cup Greek olives, pitted, sliced (or your favorite)
- 3oz (90gr) feta cheese, crumbled
- 6oz (180gr) fresh spinach
- handful fresh basil leaves
- Marinade for chicken
- 1 tbs red wine vinegar
- 1 tbs Dijon-style mustard
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- ‘French Dressing’
- 3 Tbs ketchup
- 2 tbs red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp Worcestershire
- 2 tsp Dijon-style mustard
- 4 tbs good olive oil
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- In small bowl whisk together marinade for chicken, pour over chicken and set aside to marinate.
- When ready, remove chicken from marinade and cook on barbecue for 14 – 18 minutes, turning once.
- When done, remove, let rest 5 minutes, then slice.
- Fill large saucepan half full of water and bring to a boil over high heat.
- When boiling, drop in asparagus and parboil for 3 minutes.
- Drain and immediately rinse with cold water.
- Make vinaigrette: In small bowl whisk mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire and vinegar.
- Slowly add oil whisking constantly.
- Whisk in dried basil
- Prepare spinach, tear if needed and put in a large salad bowl along with fresh basil.
- Add 3 – 4 tbs dressing and mix well.
- Add tomatoes, asparagus, olives and feta and toss once or twice.
- Add chicken and drizzle with 2 – 3 tbs dressing and serve, remaining dressing on the side..
This is for all of you lucky people who still have asparagus. Ours was finished a few weeks ago.
I pulled the spinach last week, so spring vegetable season is officially over.
I had two rows of spinach: one planted 7 weeks ago and one planted 5 weeks ago. The idea, of course, was that we would still be enjoying fresh spinach during the first 2 weeks of June.
Last week was unseasonably warm – in the high 80’s F (30C). Spinach doesn’t like hot weather. Both rows started to bolt.
I spent several hours last weekend with the spinach. I pulled it, sorted through it to get the clean leaves (clean as in ‘no aphids’), washed it, sorted through it again, chopped it, steamed it, drained it and froze it.
I had huge baskets of leaves. I filled my sink six times to the brim with spinach leaves. I used my big steamer and blanched 10 batches of chopped leaves.
I spent at least a year working on it (or so it seemed).
I ended up with 6 small, 1 cup bags of spinach, about 7oz (200gr) each.
I have still been asking myself why I bothered…..
Oh – during the previous 3 weeks, while the first row was growing well in cool weather I made 10 quarts of spinach soup.
We still have lots of lettuce.
Now I have to go pick the chard for dinner.