I’ve been trying to do something with the big weed patch that used to be a vegetable garden in a generous-sized plot in my yard near the river. As I’ve been digging weeds, I keep finding clumps of oregano. This aromatic herb must be one of the most tolerant of neglect and sandy soil. And, I guess it doesn’t care one bit about being surrounded by weeds. It’s not only growing, it’s spreading. I’ve been digging each little bunch of oregano up, plopping it into pots and sharing them with friends.
I continue to snip chives and tarragon, plants that are tucked in among the perennial flowers in my garden. I always plant plenty of Italian parsley in the big barrel planter. Last week, all of these herbs went into a vinaigrette. If I’m able to get my basil to grow this year (I’ve planted it in pots rather than the ground this time around), I’ll be adding that to the mix of herbs in this vinaigrette.
Of course, this vinaigrette is wonderful on a salad of fresh greens. But, there are more ways to enjoy this herb-infused oil and vinegar dressing. Spoon it over roasted potatoes or into potato salad. Brush it over pizza dough before adding toppings. Use it to glaze grilled chicken breasts. Or, when you have a bunch of asparagus (or the ends of asparagus spears after making spicy pickled asparagus), grill it and eat it with a drizzle of Fresh Herbs Vinaigrette.
My husband has a grill pan designed for vegetables. I rolled the asparagus ends in some of the vinaigrette before he put them in the pan on the grill. Since the ends had been blanched, they didn’t need much time on the grill. Before serving, I drizzled more vinaigrette over the ends and garnished with shaved Parmesan.
Easy, healthful and delicious. And, a great way to enjoy fresh herbs and fresh asparagus.
Fresh Herbs Vinaigrette
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- Â¼ cup balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
- Â¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Whisk fresh lemon juice, grated zest and vinegar together in a 2-cup glass measure. Slowly pour in olive oil as you continue to whisk to form an emulsion. Add garlic and chopped fresh herbs and mix. Store in covered jar in refrigerator. Shake well before serving. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 1 cup vinaigrette.