The garden has come a long way since I tricked my buff sister into clearing it out for me.
|The garden when we bought the house.|
Some things have gone better than other. Squirrels ravaged our watermelon and peppers, and the mint we planted--supposed to be an almost weed-like, easy thing to grow--is a sickly yellow and barely produced enough leaves to support a lonely mojito.
But: the zucchini, unsurprisingly, is going gangbusters! From a single plant, we are well past our 20th zucchini. Several new ones mature every day.
|The vegetable crisper, overrun with zukes!|
I've made zucchini bread, zucchini latkes, and put zucchini in pad thai and green curry. And we've been grilling zucchini frequently as a side, with whatever happens to be for dinner.
But zucchini is undeniably bland. With a simple preparation like grilling, you need something to put on it--pesto, romesco sauce, balsamic--something like that. So, to go with grilled zukes, today I made my all-time favorite salad dressing: anchovy vinaigrette.
World's simplest, most delicious salad is crispy torn romaine, Italian parsley, and green onions--all lightly dressed with this vinaigrette. This alongside a roast chicken and a glass of red wine may be world's most perfect homemade dinner.
Anchovy vinaigrette tastes nothing like the nasty anchovies you get on pizza--it's rich, complex, salty, and totally delicious. Even an un-adventurous eater like my mom liked it on salad last time she came to visit (the woman loathes even hypothetical fishiness in food--she's never tried sushi because she thinks it will maybe taste fishy. Alas.)
Here is how you make it:
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons or more good red or white wine vinegar
- Salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
- 1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard, (optional)
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tsp white sugar
- juice of one lemon
- 4 anchovy fillets, or more to taste, with some of their oil ( I prefer the rolled ones with capers!)
- 1 large shallot (about 1 ounce), peeled and cut into chunks
What to do
- Combine all ingredients except shallot in a blender, and turn the machine on. A creamy emulsion will form within 30 seconds. Taste, and add more vinegar if necessary, about a teaspoon at a time, until the balance tastes right.
- Add shallot, and turn machine on and off a few times, until shallot is minced within the dressing. Taste, adjust seasoning and serve. (This vinaigrette is best made fresh but will keep refrigerated for a few days. Before using, bring it back to room temperature, and whisk briefly.
- I made a gigantic tupperware full of grilled zukes, along with some of our patty pan squash, and a leftover red pepper from the last time I made romesco. It's school again, so having this on hand will ensure veggies find their way into our lunches this week.
|Finished vinaigrette! I made a week's worth. This keeps great in the fridge.|
I grilled some zucchinis and drizzled the vinaigrette on top--delicious!