Somehow, as of late, my blog seems to be filling up nicely with food related posts and recipes - well, I do eat a bit different now that I work from home, and have my new boyfriend spending almost every weekend here with me, when we cook and eat together. These culinarily interesting weekends usually make for some leftovers or others in my fridge, and during the week, I enjoy opening my fridge, see what's there, and experiment with the random collection of ingredients I find.
So far, there have not been any non-edible results :-)
A while ago, again I found myself with these bits and bites:
Two handfuls of rucola leaves, half a cucumber, a mozzarella that would reach its "best before" date by tomorrow, two hard-boiled eggs and a can of kidney beans which had been sitting in my kitchen cupboard for ages but were still weeks away from their "best before" date.
Had the eggs not been hard boiled, maybe I would have turned the whole collection into some kind of surprise omelette, but now, all these things were shouting "salad!" at me, and so I gladly obliged.
The mozzarella and cucumber were cut into small pieces and the beans drained and rinsed, ready to join the rucola leaves in the salad bowl. I cut the eggs into quarters and then set to make the dressing, a very simple vinaigrette.
The base for my salad dressings is always a vinaigrette, and my mum taught me this one many moons ago when I was a teenager and still living at home:
Start with a bit of sugar (maybe half a teaspoon), add salt and pepper according to your taste. If you use dried herbs, add them now; fresh herbs go in at the very end.
Now add one tablespoon of vinegar; mine is a balsamico which explains the dark colour (not everybody likes this, some people find it is less appetizing, but let me assure you, it tastes a lot better than it looks, and of course the vinaigrette works just as well with your preferred type of vinegar). Stir well with a small spoon. Then add three tablespoons of oil; I mostly use olive oil, but once again, use whichever you prefer; grape seed, sunflower, etc., it doesn't matter - the important bit is the 1:3 ratio of vinegar to oil.
Again, stir well, and remember: if you use fresh herbs, now is the time to put them in.
As I said, this is the base. It can be changed to your taste by, for instance, adding a bit of mustard, stirring in some crème fraîche or cream or yoghurt, and so on. In case you go for a creamy dressing, you will need less oil - just one spoon should be enough, or if you want to offer a low-calory one, just a teaspoon to add some taste and facilitate your body's absorbtion of vitamins.
The dressing then was poured over the salad ingredients and I mixed everything thoroughly.
When I was satisfied with the more or less even distribution of all the ingredients, I put the egg bits on top.
And then it was all mine to eat - the whole bowl full! :-)