Okay. It’s time to share some secrets. We will try to make this a regular feature on our blog, as we all have lots of excellent secrets to share. We will post a small, secret something, and you reply with a secret of your own. (You need to reply, because we will stop sharing ours if you don’t share yours.) There are not really any rules or categories, except that it needs to be rated PG, and it should be something you think is a really awesome little secret, to the point that you almost don’t want to share it.
Case in point – my favorite salad dressing. This has nothing to do with Osmia or skin care, except that there is some cool emulsion chemistry involved. I learned this trick from my stepmom (not a chemist, but an excellent cook), and have been grateful ever since. I make this dressing almost nightly, and my kids won’t touch dressing from a bottle. Smart lil’ buggers.
So here is the secret recipe:
- Start with a good quality balsamic vinegar. If you are going to splurge on one of the THREE ingredients, this is the one. I like Fini (black label) – very nice, yet still relatively affordable as balsamic vinegars go. Don’t use a balsamic reduction – just a good quality, aged balsamic. Pour 1/4 cup into a small jar (you will need a lid).
- Add two generous pinches of coarse sea salt. I like pink Himalayan salt, but any coarse salt will do – just not boring old table salt.
- THIS IS THE KEY STEP: WALK AWAY FOR 5-10 MINUTES. Here is where the chemistry magic thing happens. You need to let the salt sit in the vinegar and get completely dissolved in the acid. When you come back, give the jar a gentle swirl to make sure you don’t hear any crystals scraping the bottom. If you do, keep swirling until it goes away.
- Add 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (I choose organic, cold-pressed). If you don’t feel like measuring stuff, just make sure the balsamic and the oil are in equal parts. Ish.
- Put the lid on the jar and SHAKE. (Not you. Shake the jar.) For about a minute.
Et, voila. C’est ca. A strangely thick emulsion that will make you want to eat salad all day, every day. Or at least once a day. If it’s too tart (I’m a sourpuss), add a teaspoon of Grade B Maple Syrup. If you like a little kick, add a bit of dijon. (Add these things to the vinegar and salt step, allowing them to sit before adding oil.) The dressing will keep for 3 days at room temperature. If it separates a little, just shake again before serving, though it should stay fairly emulsified if you followed all the magic instructions.
Try it, and let us know how it goes.
Now. Your turn. We’re waiting.