July 2, 2009
July 4th requires that we come up with something patriotic to eat. Obvious choices are watermelon and fresh corn on the cob, but last year I added a salad that just about made me burst into a few choruses of "The Star-Spangled Banner."
It's easy to make and very festive for any day of the year, but most appropriate for Independence Day.
Take your usual salad greens and my usual vinaigrette--about two parts olive oil to one part of white wine vinegar, stirred into a slap of Dijon mustard with just a dash of honey and salt to taste. (Actually, as I've directed here before, I put the mustard in the bowl first, cover it with Kosher salt, and then whip in the honey followed by the vinegar.) Some fresh lemon, lime, or orange juice can be added at this point, if desired. A slow drizzle of olive oil, whisking all the time, makes the dressing just as you like it.
Add the following ingredients to the greens: Blueberries, strawberries, and maybe a few Craisins. Toss with the vinaigrette and add a dash of Kosher salt over all.
The obvious place to go with red, white and blue food is to dessert. I like to mix a little low-calorie sweetener to yogurt (the one place it cannot be detected) and add a drop of vanilla and a drop of orange extract. This makes a delicious base for your blueberries and strawberries. Of course you can use raspberries and some dried cranberries as well. If you absolutely want something besides yogurt for the holiday, go ahead and use a premium vanilla ice cream (or make some yourself).
Have a safe and glorious 4th!