Raspberry & Black Pepper Vinaigrette

Shocker, it is another raspberry recipe haha.  I wanted to use my overflow of raspberries in some different ways other than just in sweets, so I decided to take on a vinaigrette.  I do a ginger soy dressing that I really enjoy so I just used that recipe and removed a few items and added a few in its place in hopes that it would resemble a vinaigrette. Cracked black pepper was added in as I love the bite of it with berries, and I do believe it worked out quite well.

I once again have used my Blendtec for this, but you can use whatever you have on hand (hand mixer, blender etc.).  This recipe is good for about 4 mason jars full, so you can make some for yourself and share a little with friends.

Raspberry & Black Pepper Vinaigrette

2 cups olive oil

½ cup apple cider vinegar

½ cup balsamic vinegar

1 clove garlic

1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley

1 tbsp fresh chopped basil

¼ cup agave nectar syrup

1 tbsp lemon juice

½ tsp salt

1 tsp cracked black pepper (or more if you want it to have more bite)

1 cup raspberries

1. Add all ingredients together and blend till smooth.

2.  Run through sieve to rid of the seeds. And enjoy.

Ciabatta Dressing

Here in Canada we already had our thanksgiving, so I’ll have a couple of seasonal recipes coming your way.  The first one is some Ciabatta Dressing.  I chose to go the dressing (baked separately) route as opposed to the stuffing (stuffed in the turkey) route because after some heavy reading on the debate between which is better I sided with the dressing.   Stuffing is said to dry the turkey out because the bread is so porous that it absorbs a lot of the juices that attribute to the turkey being moist.  This of course flavours the stuffing really nicely, but I figured it was much easier to mimic the turkey flavour in the stuffing than it was to fake a moist turkey.  This recipe will work just fine for stuffing the turkey as well if that is what you would like to do, just make that it reaches a temp. of 165º if that is what you decide to do.

Initially I wanted to go a super basic white bread and traditional ingredient dressing with celery and onion, but after a trip to Whole Foods to pick up some ingredients that changed a little bit.  Whole Foods of course didn’t have even 1 loaf of white bread…seriously Whole Foods? Not trendy enough for ya?  Anyways, I didn’t want to do whole wheat stuffing, because it was thanksgiving and this means you can forget about the healthy grains for a day, so I grabbed some herbed ciabatta that they had.  It was local (from Uprising Breads), which I really liked and I gotta tell you, I think I’ll be using it in my dressing from now on!

I really liked the texture of the ciabatta, it held on to moisture well and the fact that it was already herbed added some extra flavour to the dressing.    

Ciabatta Dressing

4-6 herbed ciabatta buns, cubed

¾ cup butter

1 onion, diced

4 celery stalks, diced

1 tsp dried sage

salt & pepper to taste

1 cup chicken broth

1.  Let Ciabatta cubes air for 1-3 hours.

2.  Preheat oven to 350°.  In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Add celery and onion and cook until soft.  Season with sage, salt & pepper.  Stir in the ciabatta cubes, moisten with chicken broth.  Mix well

3.  Bake in a greased casserole dish for 30 mins.

*If using to stuff a turkey, chill before use and make sure that it reaches a temp. of 165º

Makes approx. 8 servings