Having a great vinaigrette at the ready always helps me be more creative in the kitchen because it is an excellent marinade, dressing and recipe ingredient. As of a few weeks ago, I have a new favorite – Tante Z Garlic Vinaigrette. This is a classic vinaigrette loaded with the goodness of garlic. As the Tante Z folks say, it is “totally tanteliZing”. It perks up a simple dinner salad in a flash, but I think it really shines in recipes. Broiled tomato halves topped with a very simple sauce is a quick and delicious side dish. I adapted this recipe from two sources: my latest favorite cookbook, Six Ingredients or Less Low-Carb Cooking (Hazen & Johnston), and a random recipe I had clipped from a Kraft magazine ad who knows how long ago. (You don’t want to know how many random recipe clippings I have!)
- 2 tablespoons Tante Z Garlic Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 2 medium sized firm ripe tomatoes
Mix the first four ingredients together in a small bowl and chill for at least 30 minutes to blend flavors. Preheat broiler. Cut tomatoes in half crosswise and place in a shallow baking dish, cut side up. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and pepper to taste. Place dish on a rack about 3 inches from heat. Broil tomatoes for about 5 minutes, or until heated through, but still firm. Remove from broiler and top with cilantro cream sauce.
(Note to Karen, who doesn’t care for cilantro–I bet this would be really good if you substituted fresh dill for the cilantro.)
Tante Z ( Aunt Zigrida) fled Latvia with her parents during World War II. Her vinaigrette dressing was a staple at family gatherings for many years. Family members often discussed taking the tasty dressing to market, and Tante Z’s nephew, Peter Skrodelis, and his wife Liz took up the challenge. They asked Tante Z to come up with additional flavors, so she created honey lemon and spicy versions to complement the original garlic dressing. The vinaigrettes are made with fresh ingredients, and contain no MSG or preservatives. We love these fresh and wholesome products! Tante Z’s website offers all three flavors for direct order and also provides a list of retailers who carry the vinaigrettes. Get creative with them in your own kitchen!