Grandma Glass of Milk has a collection of empty mayonnaise jars in her pantry. Rather than invest in plastic tupperware, she stores her leftovers there, and washes them out over and over again (she also uses them to mix her martinis). Growing up, my mom always saved glass jars too. Our after school snack always included juice in little Welch’s jelly jars, and we used Snapple bottles to hold fresh flowers from the garden. So perhaps that’s why I have a budding collection of my own glass jars.
Grandma Glass of Milk offered up some of her charming Bonne Maman jars and I was happy to take them off her hands. Sous Chef Lauren and I have noticed that the latest trend in the food blogosphere seems to be putting cupcakes in jars, and that’s certainly on the to-do list. But until we can be together to work on that project, I need another use for these.
Homemade lemon vinaigrette.
There is no greater satisfaction than making a dish with your own hands, saving you pennies, countless food dyes and unnecessary ingredients. When you make something yourself, you know exactly what you’re eating. And nine times out of ten, what you make tastes incomparably better than whatever you were going to buy at the grocery store.
I’m not a big salad eater, so we don’t keep bottled dressings around. If I do throw greens on a plate, I usually finish them off with a drizzle of olive oil, a splash of balsamic vinegar and a shake of salt and pepper, a sort of impromptu balsamic vinaigrette. But sometimes a salad dressing is so wonderful that it’s worth making and bottling up in a cute jar.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that I found the perfect lemon juice to olive oil ratio from The Barefoot Contessa. Start practicing your pucker because this dressing is perfectly tart and begs for a huge bowl of greens with some shaved Parmesan cheese for a salty contrast.
I like to throw in my favorite garlic croutons from Whole Foods (speaking of foods I could be making myself) too. This salad answers the question, “What should I serve with my main dish tonight?” Roast chicken? Oh yes. A beautiful cut of filet mignon? Thank you. Any kind of pasta and fresh vegetables? Yes please.
To make Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette, you will need:
- 1/4 C lemon juice (fresh squeezed, don’t even dream of using the fake stuff) from about 2 lemons
- 1/2 C olive oil
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- you could add pepper, but when I serve this over arugula, I leave that out