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When was the last time you got really excited about a salad. I mean, really. When was the last time you texted your BFF and went “OMG, you are not gonna believe it, I just had the best salad EVERRRRRR!!”

Yeah, I didn’t think so.
You might say that about an ice cream sundae, but a salad? No way. You know why? Because unfortunately, most of the salad ingredients we can get around here are just… blah.  Same old boring iceberg lettuce, same old tasteless tomatoes, same old bottled dressing. Ugh… don’t even get me started on the dressing…
See, growing up, our mom went to the market almost every day. During the summer, our dad would bring home fresh veggies from his garden. Everything was so fresh and good and tasty, that the only dressing needed was a splash of lemon juice, some olive oil and a pinch salt. That’s it.
Ok, so maybe my expectations are a bit high, I get it.

I don’t have a garden in my backyard. I can’t always get to the local farm stand to get fresh produce. But you know what? That doesn’t mean I can’t turn a salad into an OMG experience. All I need is a dash of creativity… and a good, homemade dressing.
So here are a few ideas I think you might enjoy. And if after trying these you ever buy bottled dressing again, I’ll come over and drink it myself. LOL.

Prepare ahead: 2 hours
Preparation: 10 minutes
Ingredients (makes 3/4 cup)

  • 2 Medium Roasted Peppers
  • 1 Roasted Plum Tomato
  • 1 tbs Brown Mustard
  • 1 tbs Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  1. Prepare ahead. Pre-Heat oven at 400F
  2. Place 2 red bell peppers in a baking sheet bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour
  3. Remove the peppers from the oven. While hot, place in a glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set it aside for 1 hour.
  4. Peel peppers, discarding skin and seeds.
  5. Place all the ingredients in a blender.  Blend until smooth

Prepare ahead: 1 hour
Preparation: 5 minutes
Ingredients (Makes 1 cup)

  • 1 1/2 cups of fresh basil
  • 1 tbs Dijon mustard
  • 4 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbs extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
  1. Pre-heat oven at 350F
  2.  Cut the bottom of a whole head of garlic. Wrap it in aluminum foil
  3. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes
  4. Squeeze 4 cloves of garlic out of their skin into a blender
  5. Add  the rest of the ingredients
  6. Blend until smooth