September 7, 2010

Basil Dressing... An Extension of Summer Vacation

It can't be over, it just can't be! Where did the summer go? And why so suddenly, it seems?

How could it be that just yesterday I was jogging along the cliffs in Newport, Rhode Island, shielding the morning sun from my eyes as I watched surfers battle the waves... and today? Today I was biking through the streets of Philly, shielding my eyes from the morning sun as I prayed not to get sideswiped by a cab or fly into a pothole. I was en-route to spend the day with over a hundred nervous and excited 9th graders on their first day of high school.

Despite summer being in my proverbial rear-view-mirror, today was an awesome day. How much fun is the first day of school!? How much more fun is it to watch new students navigate new friends in a new school, and to get to help them do that? It was pretty darn fun. I think I'll go back tomorrow.

Anyway, this post is about basil dressing, I promise. I'll get to the point: ending my day with big bites of crispy salad and juicy tomatoes coated in this cool and creamy basil dressing was like a second chance at summer, if just for the evening.

Once again, basil saves the day! Each pulse of the processor released that lovely and familiar fragrance of sweet basil as it was mixed with the tart tang of fresh lemon and gently pungent kick of white onion. What a fabulous dressing it was. Completely light and entirely refreshing.

It is an absolute pleasure to eat. It's a pandora's box of all that is delicious and carefree in life.... I encourage you to eat it all September long with fond dreams of your summer months.

Basil Dressing:
1 cup basil, rinsed
1/4 small white onion, or 1/2 shallot
3 T. light mayo
2 T. quality olive oil
2 T. white balsamic vinegar (can use dark balsamic, only the color will be affected)
3/4 T. salt
a generous squeeze of 1/4 of a lemon
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine all of the above ingredients in a food processor, in the order they are listed, until well incorporated. Dressing will be slightly textured.

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