Dana Slatkin

Basil Vinaigrette

basil vinaigrette

Photo credit: delish.com

Instead of planning a big trip this summer or sending our kids off to camp, my husband and I decided not to have any plans. We wanted each day to unfold organically. Expectations would be low. Our priorities were simply to be more spontaneous, enjoy each day to its fullest, and maximize our time together.

I decided to take a similar approach in the kitchen. After all, we were lucky to be spending the summer in a small town, where the market was a ten-minute walk away and the farmers market spilled across our street every Saturday. There was no excuse not to improvise.

At first, we alI drew blanks. The kids binged on TV; I came home with eight bags of groceries and had no idea what to make for dinner. All that freedom was intimidating.

But as the weeks went by, we adjusted to the new normal. We left the house without having a destination. We walked and biked everywhere. We picnicked by the river and dined under the stars.

I got used to buying a few fresh things at the market almost every day. Along with the daily harvest of herbs from my roof garden, my “mystery basket” of ingredients became the inspiration for some brand new concoctions.

Some of my kitchen experiments were forgettable, just as some days felt like we did “nothing.” But best of all, I let go of my fear of falling short. This summer, it was all good.

So when one of my besties asked me to crack the recipe for her favorite salad dressing from a local café, I welcomed the challenge. Turns out it was a basic vinaigrette blended with a generous handful of fresh basil. The trick is to use white balsamic vinegar in order to preserve the arresting green color of the basil.

With a pleasant sweetness from the balsamic vinegar and a fresh tang from the basil and lemon, this dressing is all about summer. It’s quite versatile, too. I’ve been pouring it over tomato salads, my morning eggs, mixed greens, grilled fish, and even Greek-style yogurt. You can throw in a seeded jalapeño if you like heat.

Of course, just as I was beginning to enjoy winging it this summer, I came home to school calendars, schedules, to-do lists a mile long. But I wasn’t fazed. This time, I’ve planned for it.

You still have another week to enter the Farmgirl’s Summer Giveaway for a chance to win these stylish Govino wine glasses and an eco-friendly, easy-to-clean beverage bottle from Clean Bottle.

Disclaimer: This post may contain totally benign affiliate links, earnestly and expressly intended to help dear readers make informed consumer choices while supporting unsponsored, free-of-charge and delicious content.

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