Erasing Onion Rings with Salad

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Every summer, we rent a house in Cape Cod for a week for a family reunion with my husband’s family.  With a whole family of foodies, our traditions run the food gamut from the very NOT lo-co joy of Liam’s onion rings (must be scored within 24 hours of arriving on Cape) and the Chocolate Sparrow (thank goodness they do not exist at home) to the also-not-lo-co family dinners we take turns hosting.

There are now 3 home-hosted family dinners in one week:  first is the lobster & rib dinner at my in-laws (one brother-in-law has ribs flown in from Montgomery’s in Cincinnati – no idea how that started… the lobsters are of course local).  Then there’s the porterhouse & tenderloin steak dinner at my other brother-in-law’s rental home.  My husband and I added the vaguely more healthful “fish dinner” a few years ago at our rental home (not even going to comment on how not a vacation it is to host a dinner for 10-12 in a rental house). And I refer to our fish dinner as only vaguely heathy even though we served fish, grilled veggies, cous cous and salad because, well, there’s a great deal of cheese and pepperoni at cocktail hour, and the amount of vodka and wine consumed (there’s usually a card game after dinner) can reach epic proportions.

Oh, and then there are more onion rings at lunch on the beach.  In fact, the onion rings at Nauset Beach’s snack shack, Liam’s, are so amazing I usually have them at least 3 times in one week.  And Liam’s – like Gold’s Deli in my home town — is in my speed dial.

Embarrassing, I know.

So this year, I decided to try to have some salad (gasp) during the week to offset the effect of huge family dinners, too much drinking and the deadly, delicious onion rings.

I remembered to bring BOTH my new favorite salad dressing recipe AND the cruet AND a bottle of sherry vinegar with us to Cape Cod.  The first night here, as part of the lobster & rib dinner, I made salad (we usually don’t have any greens that first night!)  And everyone LOVED the dressing.

Salad Cape CodSo I had to make a new batch of it the next day so I could have some salad for lunch or dinner at home (when I wasn’t inhaling onion rings).  See, proof: here’s a picture of a salad I made for dinner the day after the lobster/rib dinner — this picture was moments before I added some warmed rib meat for protein!

And let’s just pretend that bleu cheese is not there…

My 85 year old mother-in-law even asked for the recipe.  And that NEVER happens.

When I sat at my in-law’s PC and tried to print the mustard vinaigrette recipe from my “How I learned…to love salad” post, I realized I never posted it in an accessible, recipe format – that I only posted the link to the New York Times article David Tanis wrote about this salad.  So here it is: the recipe for the first salad dressing that is so delicious (and easy) that I even made it while on vacation:

For a triple recipe – enough for a dinner party or salad all week:

  • 2 Tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 6 Tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • some finely grated garlic (I use 2 cloves – the recipe asks for 1 1/2 teaspoons) and
  • 9 Tablespooons EVOO
  • Salt and pepper to taste

As David Tanis advises, “Whisk together mustard, vinegar and garlic. Whisk in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.”  Then I just pour into a cruet and store in my refrigerator.

Voila.  A healthy meal to counter the effects of too many rich meals and, um, onion rings.

Because that works, right?


Oh well, no worries – vacation ends tomorrow.



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