The sun came out this morning, bringing with it deep blue skies and promise of better weather to come. As cliche as it sounds, it was a sight for sore eyes … Really, all I can think is thank goodness. The New England winter bought so much snow this year, and ice too. And the past few days have been an almost-unending rainstorm. The gusts of wind lately have also seemed extraordinarily strong. Yesterday, the windows in our little house rattled with the force as I sat here working and writing … not exactly relaxing weather.
Every time it’s beautiful out, like today, I start dreaming about our gardens to come. My friends and family have asked again and again what we plan to grow in our raised garden beds this summer. My answer is still a little vague, but there are some certainties: tomatoes (yes, despite the late blight of last summer, I will grow them this year), sweet peppers and beans. These are the things that we love and use a lot. Of course, there will be herbs too — lots of them. If we have room, we’ll try pickling cucumbers, something that Will would love.
Our yard is also home to a few berry bushes and some strawberries that we hope will produce this year. There is mint in an alcove as well. Will wants to grow pumpkins again this year, and watermelons too (oh, I cringe thinking about how they will undoubtedly stretch their curly tendrils clear across the yard … but it’s so worth it).
While I look ahead to spring, we are still in winter mode … it’s chilly outside – weather that still requires coats. But inside, we can claim little bits of spring here and there: dreams of gardens, plans for outdoor play and fresh salads coated with homemade dressing …
We eat salads all year round, but crisp, cool salads are a special treat during warm months. On warm days, there is nothing better than digging into a big salad with homemade dressing, crisp croutons and vegetables galore.
This Caesar Salad Dressing is egg-free (honestly, I am a little squeamish about the usage of raw eggs) and pairs perfectly with crisp, vibrantly green romaine, fresh shredded Parmesan and Homemade Croutons. When friends came to visit this past weekend, I served Caesar Salad with this homemade dressing with a spinach lasagna. Last night, we ate it again alongside Chicken Souvlaki and Cream Biscuits. It worked equally well both times.
We all love this dressing. It’s flavorful and pleasant, without any overabundance of acidity. Just perfect … we think.
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 4 anchovy fillets
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine all ingredients and process until smooth. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- For best results, make this at least one hour before you want to use it. This can be stored for up to five days in the refrigerator.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.