We are knee deep in boxes and our house is almost packed up, but the kitchen? It's still fairly intact and open for business until Wednesday, when it officially closes for business in Bloomington and re-opens in Charlotte.
After a long day of packing, we fired up the grill for some grilled chicken thighs. I sauteed mini bella mushrooms and I made a warm vinaigrette with Wild Mushroom & Sage olive oil. I tossed it all together with cherub tomatoes and arugula, then finished with some crumbled goat cheese. Warm vinaigrettes are SO GOOD. By sauteeing some garlic with olive oil, the oil becomes infused with flavor and the slightly warm dressing hugs the salad ingredients in the best of ways. The goat cheese becomes creamier, the greens are slightly softer and everything tastes better.
1/4 cup good olive oil (I actually use somewhere in between less than 1/4 cup but more than 1/8 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
In a small saute pan, heat oil and add garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until garlic is soft and fragrant (be careful not to burn!) Remove from heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Pour cooked garlic and olive oil mixture into a small mixing bowl and whisk in vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
Makes enough to coat a medium sized salad.
Note: For different dressings, try mixing up your oil flavors and the tangy (vinegar) taste. Vinegars can be substituted for fresh squeeze lemon, lime or even dijon mustard. I also like to use balsamic and champagne vinegars.