Monday, July 13, 2015

Lemon-Basil-Dill Salad Dressing

I love trying new products. I'm always scouring the grocery store for things I haven't tried yet. I'm always throwing things into my cart with no clue how I'm going to use them.

I bring them home and use them and sometimes I write about them or mention them in recipes.

It's even better when products come to my door and they don't cost me anything, because I get to play and there's no risk of wasting money. If I don't like the products, I don't write about them. If I like them, I usually end up buying them again and again. There are quite a few products that I got as samples that I now use all the time.

When Litehouse offered me some of their spices, I was intrigued. They call them "Instantly Fresh" and say that they refresh in liquid to become like fresh herbs.

Well, that's interesting.

I love fresh herbs, but I hate buying a bunch of herbs when I only need a tablespoon or two. In the summer, I grow a few herbs outside, and in winter, I have some potted herbs. But I also use a lot of dried herbs as a substitute. In some cases, I prefer dried herbs. In other cases, it would be nice to have fresh herbs, but dried are more convenient - and less expensive.

So the idea of convenient dried herbs that tasted like fresh - that sounded like something I could really use.

Out of all the herbs I was sent, I used the basil the most, simply because that's what I needed for recipes. I noticed that when I added it to tomato sauce it brightened and was very fragrant. But then, of course. I cooked it.

Then the lightbulb lit. I was using them like I'd use dried herbs when I should have been using them like fresh herbs. So I started thinking about how I use fresh herbs. First, I used the dill on cooked potatoes and on buttered noodles. Then I decided to make a salad dressing that would feature the herbs.

And here's the deal - the herbs really did taste fresh. I don't think anyone would mistake the chopped basil for a recently-picked basil leaf, but the flavor was more like fresh than dried..

This is going to be good for salad dressings, uncooked preparations like dips, and for a finishing herb like on the potatoes, or a final flourish of basil on pasta.

I didn't receive the cilantro to try, but I bought some, because that's one herb that always thwarts me.

I often buy cilantro to use in guacamole or salsa, but there's only two of us, so I often don't need the whole bunch. If I try to store the leftovers, it usually goes bad by the time I need more. Having a dried alternative would make sense for those times when I need just enough cilantro for one avocado's worth of guacamole.

So ... I bought it and I tried it, and it did rehydrate and taste like cilantro should. I have to say that I was pleased.

Lemon-Basil-Dill Salad Dressing

2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon Litehouse basil
1/2 teaspoon Litehouse Dill
Pinch of Litehouse mint
1/2 teaspoon salt
Several grinds black pepper
Pinch of garlic powder
1 teaspoon sugar
6 tablespoons (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) olive oil

Combine all of the ingredients in a small jar and shake until emulsified. Serve on salad or vegetables.

Thanks to Litehouse Foods for sending me samples of their Instantly Fresh Herbs.
Lemon Basil Dill Salad Dressing