Friday, August 29, 2008

Bewitched by Color

I have always been easily bewitched by color. And by color, I really mean any and every color. Whether it makes me cringe or draws me in, I am fascinated by the human attraction to color and lack there of (black and white).

My sophomore year of high school I did a research project on color psychology and played with the idea of going into color/art therapy. Then, junior year I encountered Mark Rothko and have been yearning to see one of his gigantic color block paintings ever since.

I can walk into a store like Anthropologie and be entertained for hours by the fabulous colors and diverse textures on display. And then I can walk into a room made up simply of "shades" of white and want to never leave.

All this brings me back to the color of food. Don't things look ten times more delicious in color? Okay, maybe those who prefer steak or chicken fried steak and potatoes can't agree with me, but every once in a while, aren't you dying for some color on your plate? Thanks to the food my mom raised me on, color is mandatory, and while in Japan this summer, I couldn't help noticing how much people valued attractive looking food, which often meant there was plenty of color.

I was wowed by the pure greenness of this salad dressing before I even tried it on a pile of bright veggies, but I can assure you that my love only grew after tasting its fresh medley of herbs married with maple syrup, mustard, and garlic.

I don't remember where my mom came across this recipe...I think it was a newspaper clipping from several years back, but she adapted it into our family recipe collection and dubbed it "Lael's Tangy Garden Salad Dressing."

Without an herb garden, I always get a bit anxious when I acquire this many fresh herbs, hating to see them go bad, but this recipe is so worth it. Just look at your leftovers as a reason to make dill bread or snip chives into tomorrow morning's omelet, or make a batch of hummus with a generous drizzle of parsley oil (hm, possible future posts?!). I mean, having plenty of herbs on hand is hardly something to complain about.Tangy Garden Salad Dressing

2 green onions, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
4 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
1 /2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.

Feel free to adjust according to taste once you've given it your first good whirl. I had mint in my fridge, so I threw some of that in and added more parsley and dill until it was just how I liked it. Oh, and poppy seeds. Why not? I have an almost full jar of poppy seeds that's not disappearing anytime soon, so I shook about a teaspoon into the dressing. Yum.

1 comment:

Rachael said...

fairest green goddess~
oh, sweet memories...the first time i made it and we how we kept going back for more salad. you don't need fancy salad ingredients because the dressing does it all.
oh, to be sitting together on the back deck eating our salad and talking about whatever, least for now we can still do the "whatever" over the phone.
happy studying,