Monday, June 30, 2003

Trio of Salad Dressings

Three recipes for easy homemade salad dressings. First up, Buttermilk Balsamic Dressing (pictured below) but there's also My Favorite Salad Dressing that's never the same twice except delicious, it's a classic vinaigrette, the one I make nearly every day. Finally, there's a Traditional Balsamic Dressing. For anyone who's set a goal to eat more salads, start with learning how how to make homemade salad dressing, it makes all the difference!

Buttermilk Balsamic Dressing (pictured), one of a Trio of Salad Dressings made with simple pantry ingredients | Weight Watchers PointsPlus 0 | KitchenParade.com

Ah, summer salads. What’s not to love about a plate piled high with fresh greens, zucchini, bell peppers, tomatoes, broccoli and cauliflower? Throw chicken breasts on the grill and the meal is complete.

BUTTERMILK BALSAMIC DRESSING is a stock item to keep ready in the fridge nearly year-round. It’s terrific on salads but also works as a pick-me-up for steamed vegetables and grilled meats. You’ll want to use fresh buttermilk and a good balsamic vinegar. And look at the calories – it’s practically a “free” food!

TRADITIONAL BALSAMIC DRESSING is luscious too. But while its ingredients are similar to those of the first dressing, it’s a much different proposition for calorie counters.

MY FAVORITE DRESSING has no recipe, per se, but is a simple concept. For photos and detailed instructions how to make My Favorite Salad Dressing, see how to make salad dressing at A Veggie Venture, my food blog. It's mixed right in the salad bowl, one salad at a time. Do experiment: it’s fun and always worth eating.

For starters, use a garlic press or a fork to mash a garlic clove in a salad bowl – or for a bare hint of garlic, rub the clove along the bowl’s sides and then discard it. You can also substitute a dollop of a garlic-ginger mixture that’s often found in produce sections near the fresh garlic.
Add a sprinkle of salt, then a dollop of a favorite mustard. Pour in a splash of vinegar, any kind. Emulsify these with the fork.
Now add the olive oil. For a simple dressing, add a double splash of good olive oil and emulsify again. The traditional proportion is one part vinegar to three parts oil but I’ve come to prefer considerably less oil. You'll learn your own taste.
If you feel exotic, add chopped fresh herbs and/or grated parmesan and then season to taste with fresh pepper.

BUTTERMILK BALSAMIC DRESSING (pictured above)

Makes 1-1/2 cups
Hands-on time: 6 minutes
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey (warmed to pour more easily)
  • 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil (crushed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon tarragon (crushed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Gently whisk all ingredients until smooth. Transfer to a sealable glass bottle. Refrigerate overnight to blend flavors before serving.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per tablespoon: 10 Cal; 0g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 2g Carb; 0g Fiber; 43mg Sodium; 1mg Cholesterol; 0g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 0 & PointsPlus 0


TRADITIONAL BALSAMIC DRESSING

Makes 1 cup
Hands-on time: 6 minutes
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons honey (warmed)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1-1/2 - 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 3/4 cup olive oil

Blend all ingredients. That's all there is to it!

If you happen to have a Good Season’s decanter available in grocery stores, add the balsamic vinegar to the "V" (for vinegar) line. Then add the honey, mustard and garlic powder. Finally, add olive oil to the "O" (for olive oil) line.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per tablespoon: 98 Calories; 10g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 2g Carb; 0 g Fiber; 6mg Sodium; 0mg Cholesterol; 0g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 3 & PointsPlus 3

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

More Salad Dressing Recipes

(from A Veggie Venture, my food blog)
~ Buttermilk Garlic Salad Dressing ~
~ Homemade Creamy Vinaigrette ~
~ Easy Salsa Dressing ~

~ more salad dressing recipes ~

~ Never Buy Salad Dressing Again ~
a collection of recipes from my fellow food bloggers

More Salad Inspiration

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Quick 'n' Easy Raw Salad Spinach Salad with Fruity Vinaigrette, Fresh Fruit & Glazed Pecans Wedge Salad with Homemade Low-Cal & Low-Carb Blue Cheese Salad Dressing

Healthy Recipes To Memorize for Everyday

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
How to Make Homemade Vegetable Soup Chicken Sybil Quick Broccoli Soup

Quick Links to This Page

(for easy bookmarking and searching)
~ My Favorite Dressing ~
~ Buttermilk Balsamic Dressing ~
~ Traditional Balsamic Dressing ~
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Friday, June 27, 2003

Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

Who says upside-down cakes must be pineapple?! Here, the upside-down fruit is fresh rhubarb made slightly unusual with just a kiss of anise.

Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake, classic upside down cake, fresh rhubarb with a hint of anise | Weight Watchers PointsPlus 8 | KitchenParade.com

COMPLIMENTS!

"... it tasted great." ~ Nat
"Nice light, soft, moist cake without being too gooey heavy or sweet." ~ Kari


Battling the bunnies. It’s an endless fight this time of year. A particularly persistent little guy is tearing up new impatiens in the shade garden. Every night he digs up a dozen plants, every morning I carefully restore them to the dirt. Something’s nibbling at the hostas as well. And the shasta daisies. And ...

The other day, my neighbor Mr. McGregor (okay, that’s not his real name) was perplexed to see dirt flying out of a grassy rise behind the house. He approached cautiously to find the muscular hind legs of a bunny digging to China the long way, sideways.

Ah, the joys of summer.

One of summer’s true treasures is rhubarb. This year’s crop is abundant and seems particularly sweet. I’ve frozen a few quarts for next winter but couldn’t miss this lovely upside-down cake, a perfect example of what my mom called “a good dessert when supper’s a little skimpy”.

It’s also a good example of how serving size, fat and sugar can be cut without loss of satisfaction or taste. In fact, testers here actually preferred my lower-fat, less-sweet version to the original. I agree: the anise’s light sweetness is more apparent when it doesn’t compete with so much sugar.

ALANNA's TIPS If you find anise extract, it really bumps up the flavor. To freeze rhubarb for later, wash well and cut in half-inch pieces. Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze. When frozen, transfer to a freezer container. My cast iron skillet has disappeared (how does that happen?) so this last time I cooked the butter and brown sugar mixture in a skillet and then poured it into a cake pan. After arranging the rhubarb, I greased the sides of the cake pan. This worked great! You want enough rhubarb to densely cover the butter-brown sugar mixture. This last time, the perfect amount was three cups of chopped rhubarb weighing just three-fourths of a pound after trimming.

RHUBARB UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE

Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 45 minutes
10 servings
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 pounds (700g) rhubarb, fresh or frozen, chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon anise seed ground in a mortar & pestle or a spice grinder
  • 1-1/2 cups flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 187 grams
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons, 114g) salted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon anise extract (or vanilla)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350F/175C.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter and brown sugar over medium heat in a well-seasoned, nine-inch cast-iron skillet (see Later Notes). Stir to combine, then simmer 2 – 3 minutes, being careful not to burn.

Remove from heat and arrange rhubarb evenly over top without disturbing the butter-sugar mixture.

Meanwhile, stir together anise seed, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to cream 1/2 cup softened butter and sugar. Add anise extract. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, taking care to not overmix.

Spoon batter over rhubarb without disturbing the fruit. Bake until golden, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve warm.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per serving: 283 Calories; 13g Tot Fat; 8g Sat Fat; 38g Carb; 1g Fiber; 348mg Sodium; 81mg Cholesterol; 4g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 6.5, WW PointsPlus 8 This recipe has been 'Alanna-sized' with reductions in fat and sugar and increases in the low-calorie and fiber-rich rhubarb.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

More Rhubarb Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Upside-Down Rhubarb Cheesecake Rhubarb Cake Rhubarb Custard Pie
~ more rhubarb recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade

~ Straight-Up & Perfect Rhubarb Pie ~
~ Custard with Rhubarb Sauce ~
~ Rhubarb Bakewell Tart ~

~ more rhubarb recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture

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