I don’t find myself using bottled salad dressings all that often. At home growing up, my mother taught us a simple recipe for balsamic vinaigrette that adorned every single salad we ate at dinner (and basically every single salad we still eat when visiting home.) The salad ingredients changed (who else remembers the mesclun mix craze of the early 2000s?) but the dressing stayed the same: simple ingredients can make a supreme flavor profile.
Marzetti’s new Simply Dressed line of bottled salad dressings does something similar. Without using preservatives, corn syrup, MSG or artificial flavors, Marzetti has created a bottled salad dressing that mimics the simplicity of a handmade dressing at home. (You can view the entire line of Marzetti Simply Dressed salad dressings here: http://www.marzetti.com/produc
As I was thinking about the dressing, I was reminded of a salad I had at Gotham Bar & Grill early this summer, while Karen and I were having our “Friday Lunches So That We Do Not Go Crazy and Jump Off a Cliff While Studying for the Bar Exam” every week. At that visit, I had a roasted beet and fennel salad with kumquat balsamic vinaigrette, and I thought that the flavor profile was something I could recreate myself. Using the champagne vinaigrette, I started building a salad in my head…and got inspired when I saw the gigantic pomegranates that they were selling at Whole Foods.
A few notes on the following recipe:
- Satsumas are a mandarin orange, originally imported from Japan into Louisiana by Jesuits in the 18th century. They are similar in size to tangerines, but have a spicier aroma (as if you’d left it to mature in a spice drawer for a week.) They are currently in season, but if satsumas are not available near you, you can substitute any kind of tangerine.
- I used Coach Farm goat ricotta for my goat cheese. It is tasty, but not very strong, and when I make this recipe again, I’ll choose something with a more outward, tangy goat milk flavor – likely the Monterey chèvre from Rawson Brook Farm.
- You can buy pomegranate seeds already de-seeded from the unwieldy fruit, but it’s more fun to inadvertently dye your kitchen counter blood-red.
My mis en place:
Here’s the recipe, which sounds fussy but is quite simple to prepare.
Here’s the finished product.
This salad is simple enough to accompany a grilled piece of fish, but elegant enough to act as a first course to a more elegant dinner.
I was one of the bloggers selected by T. Marzetti Company and Clever Girls Collective to host a Marzetti Simply Dressed review. They provided me with product to test myself and compensation for my time. However, my opinions are entirely my own.