Saturday, August 22, 2009

Making Home Made Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing and Bread Dipping Sauce using a Ceramic Garlic Grating Bowl

Garlic grater bowl used to serve bread dipping sauce.

Grate garlic, make salad dressing all in one bowl.

Ceramic garlic grating bowl by Architectural Ceramic Design.

Home Made Salad Dressing
I like making my own salad dressing. It usually has a mere handful of ingredients and I know that it's fresh. Most ready made dressings have a long list of ingredients, many of which don't even sound like food. Let's face it, you've got to put a lot of things in a salad dressing to keep it from separating and to make sure it lasts a long time after opening. It's not uncommon for people to have 4 or 5 opened jars of salad dressing in their refrigerator for months, sometimes years!

A Garlic Grating Bowl, How Clever
I went to a silent auction a few months back with the usual hand-made soaps, bottles of wine, restaurant gift certificates and the like. Among these generously donated items were two small ceramic bowls with little inset edges at the bottom for grating garlic. How clever, I thought. You can grate your garlic or ginger and still have room to add the rest of your salad dressing ingredients! With 200 harvested heads of garlic in my cellar, I often grate a clove or two into my salad dressing. I immediately concluded that I had to have both of these bowls (one for me and one for my daughter Linda who is a salad dressing maker extraordinaire). I quickly put bids on both bowls and, throughout the evening, I kept upping my bids until I proudly went home with both garlic grating bowls.

Bread Dipping Sauce - Oil is a Healthy Alternative to Butter
Instead of fussing with garlic bread, I now grate a clove or two of garlic, mix it with some extra virgin olive oil, a bit of balsamic vinegar and some spices. I serve the dipping sauce in the same ceramic garlic grater bowl I made it in with a hot loaf of bread. One tablespoon of olive oil only has 1.9 g of saturated fat and no cholesterol where butter, bread's usual friend, has 7.3 g of saturated fat and 30.5 mg of cholesterol. Studies have shown that consumption of olive oil, typical in a Mediterranean diet, can lead to improved health and longevity.

If you are interested in buying a ceramic garlic grater bowl, just Google "garlic grater" and you'll find a number of similar bowls. The one which we are very happy with is made by Alan and Donna Podesto from Cloverdale, California. The company name is
Architectural Ceramic Design


Quick Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing [serves 4]
1 clove garlic
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon raw local honey
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste

Grate garlic in small ceramic grating bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour over salad, toss and serve.

Per serving: 103 calories, 10.5 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 0 g cholesterol, 0 g protein, 3.3 g carbohydrates and 0 g fiber.

Bread Dipping Sauce [serves 4]
1 or 2 cloves of garlic (to taste)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
Pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

of Sonoma County, . The garlic grating bowl is $16 and their website shows larger grater bowls for making marinades - also very clever.
Grate garlic in small ceramic grating bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Serve dipping sauce in ceramic bowl with a hot loaf of whole grain, crusty bread.

Per serving: 123.5 calories, 14.3 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 g cholesterol, 0 g protein, 1 g carbohydrates and 0 g of fiber.

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