You saw pictures of my
wine fridge kitchen fridge in our temporary Irish home, right? There’s not a lot of room for condiments let alone wine food. It’s like having a dorm room-sized fridge and having to feed a wild pack of hungry beasts a family of four one gajillion meals every day. I should really get over my resistance to eating out.
Also, when we get our permanent residence, we have to move all of the stuff we have from here to there. My suitcases were already overweight when I arrived. True story. Now I also have to consider moving the “extra” stuff like food as well. Did I mention we don’t have a car?
All this means:
1) I’m trying to buy only food items we will consume right away.
2) I’m trying to buy only the absolute necessities in terms of items that help prepare and/or make food taste good.
I don’t have oregano and basil and fennel. I have an all-purpose seasoning, olive oil, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Yes, red pepper flakes are a necessity.
Salad dressing takes up too much space in the fridge and I cannot bring myself to purchase “salad cream” yet. Instead, I purchased balsamic vinegar to give our green salads some pizazz. It is tasty and can be stored at room temperature!
Ironically for the person who has eaten the same thing for breakfast for about 5 years, I grew tired of oil and vinegar on my salads after about 4 nights. It is because I eat the same thing for breakfast every morning that I did have berry jam on hand! Take THAT irony! It wasn’t homemade jam, but it got the job done. It also gave me the idea to make a berry balsamic vinaigrette for dinner one night.
The kitchen in our temporary home was stocked with all of the cooking essentials – except measuring spoons. So my recipe is going to be “part” based, which makes it easily scalable depending on how many hungry mouths you
have get to feed.
All you need are three ingredients: olive oil, balsamic vinegar and berry jam.
I used 2 parts olive oil, 2 parts jam and 3 parts balsamic vinegar. My measuring device was a soup spoon from our kitchen, so I’m guessing I was working with tablespoons. That was plenty for two salads.
If you were making this vinaigrette in a kitchen that had containers with sealable lids, I would tell you to combine all of the ingredients in a container, put the lid on securely and shake the heck out of it until the ingredients combined or emulsified. I didn’t have any containers with lids, so I just whisked my ingredients quickly together with a spoon. It was close enough for this hungry belly.
I’ve made this recipe several different times over the past two weeks with both raspberry and blackberry jam. I preferred the version with the raspberry jam, but both taste delicious. Blueberry jam would be good too.
If you’re wondering, this salad has spring greens, apples, red plums, mozzarella and pistachios. I highly recommend adding pistachios to your salad. The saltiness balanced out the sweetness of the vinaigrette.
I haven’t had the time or inclination to Google how to make an actual berry balsamic vinaigrette. Perhaps it’s as easy as what I’ve just described. I will say, it’s a lot easier to make this recipe than it is to figure out how to spell vinaigrette.
At the end of this meal I was so happy I stumbled on a way to make a delicious salad dressing using ingredients I already had on hand. I felt like my inner MacGyver came to the rescue just in time.