Salad days
COME FRY WITH ME - Johanna Garcia (The Philippine Star) - July 29, 2015 - 10:00am

Like fashion, the key to a good salad is the dressing. And the accessories. Otherwise, you’re just eating rabbit food.

I’ve finally moved out of my old one-bedroom apartment and into my new one. Finally, Real Girl Toy Kitchen has got herself a real kitchen.

But between the craziness of handing over my old place back to my landlady (who was a total gem, by the way. Thank you, Angela and T. Amy!), working out the kinks in my new place, and trying to soothe two cats dealing with post-move stress disorder, I’ve barely had time to play in my new kitchen.

Instead, I’ve been making myself a lot of salads. Why? I could say I’m on a diet or that I’m trying to eat healthier, but the truth is, I’ve just been busy. Which is my code word for lazy.

And when you’re “busy,” few things are easier and breezier than salads. Like fashion, however, the key to a good salad is the dressing. And the accessories. Otherwise, you’re just eating rabbit food.

You could go bottled, but a basic vinaigrette takes only a few minutes to whip up and once you’ve got that down, the possibilities are endless. So, here’s my basic vinaigrette recipe. Make it first, then go wild.

You can add sweeteners like honey, experiment with different kinds of vinegar (raspberry, balsamic, rice wine) or citruses (lime, kalamansi, orange) and even play around with your oils (walnut, sesame, truffle).

You can whisk your dressing like a pro until your mixture is emulsified, but honestly, I put everything in a Mason jar, cap tightly and then shake that jar (and everything else my mama gave me) like a maniac. That way, I don’t get any extra bowls or plates dirty, plus I can make extra for the next day when I’m bound to be super-“busy.”

Branch out and go ethnic with your dressing. You can add some store-bought pesto (like, say, Real Girl Toy Kitchen’s basil pesto!) for a pesto vinaigrette; add some fish sauce, lime and palm or brown sugar for a Thai dressing.

Don’t forget your salad toppings, either.  When a salad is a meal, I like to add proteins, cheeses, other veggies and/or nuts. It’s also a great way to get rid of stuff lying around in your fridge and pantry.

Of course, there’s the big papa of salads, the classic Caesar’s salad. But I’ll leave that for a less “busy” week. Until then, I hope you enjoy your salad days as much as I’m enjoying mine.

* * *

Real Girl Toy Kitchen will be at the Urban Artisans popup at Nest on Aug. 1 to 2 from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Nest Furniture and Design is on 40B Jupiter Street cor. Paseo de Roxas, Bel-Air, Makati. Stop by and see us!

 

Recipe File:Real Girl Toy Kitchen’s Classic Vinaigrette

 

(Yield: 1 cup)

Ingredients:

3 T red wine vinegar or lemon juice

1 T Dijon mustard

12 T (3/4 cup) olive or vegetable oil or combination

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Procedure:

In a small bowl whisk the acid with the mustard until the mustard has dissolved.

Slowly, in a thin stream, add the oil, whisking constantly until oil is completely incorporated.  Season with the salt and pepper.

ACIRC ANGELA AND T BEL-AIR BUT I CLASSIC VINAIGRETTE JUPITER STREET NEST FURNITURE AND DESIGN REAL GIRL TOY KITCHEN RECIPE FILE T DIJON URBAN ARTISANS
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