Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Roasted Poblano Vinaigrette

I've never really been a salad person.  I was never one of those girls who, on a date, would eat a big bowl of lettuce and miraculously claim that "Wow, I'm stuffed!"  When I went out, I was more of a ribeye and asparagus girl.  However, since going paleo, I've had a new appreciation for salads! 

One of the problems was that I used to count calories (I know! pointless! but that was my pre-paleo days).  Anyway, for me to like a salad, I needed to add so many toppings (cheese, croutons, spiced pecans, those toasted noodle thingeys).  After all of those things were added, the calories were totally not worth it!  Now, I've realized that I CAN eat a whole bowl of lettuce and throw on all sorts of toppings (paleo friendly of course!)   Now that I can be creative and not have to worry about pointless calorie counting, I've started to actually like salads!  With this in mind, here's a paleo friendly salad dressing in case you want a change from the old oil and vinegar :)

Roasted Poblano Vinaigrette
(Bobby Flay's recipe!)

  • 2 poblano pepers, roasted, peeled and seeded
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup spinach leaves
  • 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper 

I've seen people roast poblanos and other peppers before, but I'd never  actually done it before.  The other day when I was grilling up these babies  I just threw on the fresh poblanos that I bought from a local farmer's market.  You just throw them on the grill and let the outside char... they will look like you burned them to a crisp, but it's ok... it's just the skin that's black, the inside is nice and roasty and yummy.  Anyway, you throw the peppers on the fire and let them get nice and black.  Afterwards, throw them in a ziplock bag because this helps the peppers to steam and the skin to loosen.  Then, you can scrape off the skin, then remove the stem and cut the seeds out. Then you'll have peppers that look like the picture above.

While I was letting the peppers steam, I juiced the limes... I think it took 2 small limes to get the right amount of juice.  For this recipe, you definitely want to use fresh juice.  The stuff that you can buy from concentrate never tastes the same, and especially since we aren't cooking this recipe, you'd really be able to taste the freshness!

Next, I pulled out my trusty mini food processor and threw in the 1/4 of the onion (Bobby used red, but I only had a white onion, so that went in).  I also put in the garlic, honey, and the roasted poblanos. Then, I whirled it all together until everything was about the same consistency.

It will all look like this when it's pureed to the right consistency.  Doesn't look much like salad dressing yet, but just wait!

Next, you'll want to stream in VERY SLOWLY the olive oil.  This little food processor had 2 tiny little holes in the top of the lid, so I slowly poured the olive oil in.  You have to do it slowly so the salad dressing can get to the right texture.... it's called emulsification.  I'm not 100% sure of the science behind it, but I know that it won't turn out right if you don't do it!

Next, you want to add in the spinach leaves.  I'm not sure why this was a part of the recipe... maybe to give it more green color?   Either way, I followed the recipe and I thought it worked out :)

So you puree it again until everything is pureed until its nice and smooth.  Basically, you don't want big chunks of garlic or spinach in your dressing - at least I didn't, but if you do, then just go for it!

So here's the dressing on a steak salad.  It's just some greens with sliced steak and the vinaigrette.  I typically put more stuff in my salads (onion, carrots, peppers, etc) but this one was for Curt and he likes just lettuce and meat haha. 

Overall, I thought this was a great recipe! It was easy and made about 1 1/2 or 2 cups.  I saved it in this little mason jar and stuck it in the fridge for the rest of the week.  It would go well with a spicy meal... like fajitas or tacos or something else similarly delicious!!


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