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Roasted Garlic Salad Dressing

June 13, 2010

If you’ve come over for dinner, you’ve probably had a salad at my house.  And if you have had a salad at my house,  you’ve probably enjoyed some homemade salad dressing.  I’ve been on a kick to try and create a variety of dressings that are tangy enough to keep me interested without having all the cruddy ingredients you find in so many bottled varieties.  Plus I don’t like the same dressing every day, so making it in smaller portions has been an easy way to diversify the flavors.  This a pretty basic dressing that I can’t seem to get enough of these days!

You will need…

  • 10 cloves of garlic (8 if they are really large)
  • 1/3 c olive oil plus about 2 T for roasting
  • 3 T white wine vinegar (I used one infused with tarragon)
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper

Then you…

  1. Preheat the oven to 325. Remove the garlic cloves from the bulb. Using the side of a large kitchen knife, press down on each clove to lightly crack it.  Leave the papery skin on each clove.  Place the cloves in a small baking dish and drizzle with about 2 T of olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake about 15-25 minutes or until the cloves are starting to turn deliciously golden (you will also be able to smell wonderful roast garlic aromas).
  2. Remove the garlic from the oven and allow to cool until you can touch them, about 5-10 minutes.
  3. Remove the skins from the garlic. Place the “undressed” garlic on a cutting board and sprinkle with just a little bit of salt. Using the side of the large kitchen knife, mash the roasted garlic into a paste.
  4. To make the dressing, you can either use a small kitchen mixer or place all of the ingredients into a small jar with a lid. The mixer will be quick and easy to emulsify the dressing. If you use the jar, you will cover and shake well to emulsify.
  5. Place the mashed garlic in the mixer.  Add the other ingredients, and be sure to use the leftover olive oil from the roasting, since it has soaked up all sorts of garlic flavor!  Cover and pulse until well blended and creamy.

This stores in the fridge for several days in a sealed container.  I usually have a collection of empty jars from artichoke hearts or bouillon cubes that work great for dressings, although you could always invest in a more specialized bottle.

As a note, don’t be scared off by all the garlic.  When you roast it, it loses the sharp flavor of raw garlic and takes on a nutty and mild flavor.  It’s well off-set by the mustard, honey, olive oil and vinegar, especially if you pick your favorite infused versions!

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