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Fresh Italian Dressing

It’s crazy to think that Thanksgiving is going to be here in two weeks! I thought it was just summer and now it’s getting dark at 4:30 and we’re getting ready to stuff ourselves for the holidays. Oh well, may as well embrace the fatness and cold weather that’s coming our way. This Fresh Italian Dressing, however, is the perfect way to lighten up your Thanksgiving feast.

It can be made ahead of time, which is pretty much the only way I operate, and once you try it you will not be able to eat bottled dressing anymore. I stopped buying bottled salad dressing years ago when I realized how easy it was to just make a simple dressing with natural ingredients — the way my mom has always made it (her go-to is lemon juice and olive oil). However, sometimes you want something that’s a little tastier and more complex. This Fresh Italian Dressing is packed with fresh herbs and is tangy and sweet all at the same time. Plus, it comes together so easily with a push of a button on your food processor. If you’re making it ahead, I would make it 1-2 days before you plan on using it to ensure quality and freshness. (Although, I’ve definitely eaten dressing that was possibly 2 weeks old and I survived 😬).

As far as the actual salad ingredients go, feel free to improvise with whatever you like. Consider my suggested salad the base and you can add or subtract from there (additions could be carrot ribbons, red onion, or cheese of some sort). While I’m all for stuffing myself with carbs on Thanksgiving, I do like to have somewhat of a balance with something green and this salad with Fresh Italian Dressing just hits the “healthy” spot.

Fresh Italian Dressing

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 1 cup fresh parsley, loosely packed
  • 10 big leaves fresh basil
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup red Wine Vinegar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Salad

  • 3 heads Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1/2 English cucumber, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted

Instructions

Dressing

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. 
  • Dressing can be prepped 1-2 days before serving. 

Salad

  • When you're ready to serve, start by generously drizzling half of the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.  
  • Add more dressing if you need it and toss to combine.  

Notes

Recipe adapted from Once Upon a Chef.
Keyword: basil, garlic, honey, olive oil, parsley, red wine vinegar