(Lainey: Can you do food and recipes without sounding like a GOOP asshole? We’re going to try. But while I’m a world champion eater, I am afraid to cook. Recipe books are terrifying to me, mostly because half the sh-t they recommend and the techniques too are so confusing to A. a neophyte and B. someone who grew up in an non-English speaking home. True story: I just learned what a colander is last week. Which is why I hit up my friends to feed me. My best friend Fiona feeds me often. And one of the things I love about Fiona is that she doesn’t get pretentious about her food preparation, or that sometimes, oftentimes, prepackaged frozen hors d’oeuvres aren’t as good as made-from-scratch options, and taste just as good! Anyway, as the Oscars are now only 8 weeks away, I now have to eat salads all the time. Fiona is helping me not loathe this as much as I normally do. Here’s a dressing she made me last week that is helping make the experience much less miserable.)
Cooking has become a hobby for me. I used to hate it as a kid and I did not actually enjoy cooking until my mid-twenties. I met Elaine/Lainey shortly after my passion for cooking started and she is definitely one of the more serious people I know when it comes to food. Whether we are going out for dinner or eating at home, some of the important things for Elaine are good food (no explanation needed), large quantities (leftovers are important) and a certain number of dishes (we can get into this another time). When Elaine is over for dinner she always investigates the contents of my fridge and wants to know if I have made anything good lately. In other words, she wants to know if she can snack on anything immediately, and secondly, what is for dinner. This usually means she has not eaten all day and is "patiently" waiting for me to feed her. If we are having an impromptu dinner I always make a quick salad dressing. It is one of my favourites and it definitely meets her expectation of good food. I think it also meets a lot of people's New Year's resolutions in that most people start eating a lot of salad dinners to shed some of the holiday weight.
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine or white wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp dried mustard or dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp fresh herbs, chopped (optional)
Whisk together the first six ingredients. Add the crushed garlic and herbs (if using) and whisk again. This makes 1/4 to 1/3 cup of dressing.
Toss dressing with your favourite salad greens.
My favourite is to toss dressing with a head of butter lettuce (aka. boston or bibb) and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. If you are on a no sugar diet omit the sugar from the dressing.