Welcome to my blog! This is a place of information and hope for fellow Canadians who are suffering from Lyme disease. I want to share with you the knowledge I have gained during my fight with this debilitating, frightening, and misunderstood illness. I hope you will be blessed.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Another great (non-toxic) salad dressing!


Salad with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette, Blueberry Goat Cheese, and Toasted Pecans

Sitting in my fridge is a bottle of homemade Lemon Basil Vinaigrette which I whipped up this afternoon.  I can't wait for my salad at dinner tonight!

So, why is this on a Lyme blog?  Two reasons.

First, it's going under my "Eating Well" subheading.  In order to recover from illness and give our bodies a fighting chance, we need to eliminate the chemicals that are found in so many foods, salad dressings being one of them.  Have you read the label of your store-bought salad dressing lately?  Are there a few words you can't pronounce, that sound like chemicals?  Do your liver a favour and make your own dressing!  It's so easy, and with the right oils, so good for your body.  By the right oils, I mean extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, or grapeseed oil.  Never use vegetable oil or canola oil.

Secondly, this Lemon Basil Vinaigrette comes from the U.S. restaurant Pizzeria Uno.  This was one of my favourite restaurants to frequent when we travelled to the U.S. for my Lyme appointments.  Now that I've finished my Lyme treatment, I'll definitely miss my visits to this restaurant.  It was always one of the highlights in an otherwise difficult and stressful trip.

This is not just any pizzeria.  Pizzeria Uno features some very unique and delicious pizzas.  I always loved the ones that had a whole-grain rustic crust that was slathered in olive oil, and topped with different varieties of mushrooms.  Fairly healthy, as far as pizza goes.

One day while dining there, I fell in love with their salad that had a generous helping of a delicious lemony, garlicky dressing on it.  I asked the waiter if they sold the dressing, and even though they didn't have any for sale, they did something even better.  The manager came and gave me a photocopy of the recipe!  Bonus!!!  Had I been able to buy a bottle, it would have eventually run out.  Now, I will have the dressing for life!  I must say that that was so very generous of them, and I am very appreciative, being the recipe addict that I am.

I have had the recipe in my possession for quite some time, but only made it for the first time today.  That's because I needed to do a little math to reduce the amounts in the recipe.  The recipe is written for restaurant use, and I don't usually keep 6 cups of olive oil on hand! LOL  With the recipe reduced to a more manageable size, I finally made it today.  I'm hoping that it tastes as wonderful as it does in the restaurant.

I am going to include both versions of the recipe:  the original one, with restaurant-sized quantities, and the reduced recipe.  I first divided the original recipe by 6, and then in half once more to come to the final numbers.  I hope I didn't mess up the math!  That's why I'm including the original for you to see, just in case.

Lemon Olive Oil Vinaigrette (which I have re-named Lemon Basil Vinaigrette because it sounds better!)

kosher salt                           2 tbsp.
black pepper                        2 tbsp.
seasoned minced garlic*     1/2 cup
fresh chopped basil             3/4 cup
fresh lemon juice                 1 1/2 cups
olive oil                                6 cups

*To season the minced garlic, add 1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning and a pinch of crushed red pepper.

Here is the reduced recipe.

Lemon Basil Vinaigrette

kosher salt (or sea salt)        1/2 tsp.                                       
black pepper                        1/2 tsp.                      
seasoned minced garlic*      2 tsp.     
fresh chopped basil              3 tsp. (= 1 tsp. dried, but fresh is better)            
fresh lemon juice                 6 tsp. 
olive oil                                1/2 cup                               

*To season the minced garlic, add a pinch of Italian seasoning and less than a pinch of crushed red pepper.

Method

1. Measure all ingredients except olive oil and place into a mixing bowl.
2. Using a wire whisk, briskly mix the ingredients while slowly adding the olive oil to blend.
3. Store in the refregerator until ready to use. 

Shelf life:  3 days

I think that the dressing needs time for the flavours to mesh together, so I'm refrigerating it for a few hours before using.  Beware.....it is REALLY garlicky!

The restaurant served this over a salad of field greens, with goat cheese and candied pecans.  Yum!

I ♥ Pizzeria Uno!  Please come to Canada!

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