Balsamic Vinaigrette

I love a good balsamic vinaigrette. It’s great for salads and wraps and marinating portobello mushrooms. And I was recently inspired by an article I read for the many uses of a tasty (and also cheap!) homemade vinaigrette.

Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar (play around with flavored vinegars!)
1 clover garlic, minced
1 tsp. dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Shake the ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Store in the fridge so it’s always handy.

Toss 1/4 cup of the dressing on any of these combinations:
1 1/2 cup cannellini beans, 1 jar drained artichoke hearts, 1 cup sliced celery, shaved Parmesan

6 cups arugula, 1/2 pint halved cherry tomatoes, 2 oz. fresh mozzarella, fresh basil

8 cups salad greens, 1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, 4 sliced button mushrooms

1 1/2 cups chickpeas, 2 chopped roasted red peppers, 1/4 cup diced red onion

2 cups lentils, 1 diced apple, 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

2 lbs grilled or broiled vegetables (think zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, peppers)

2 lbs. roasted root vegetables (think butternut squash, carrots, turnips, onions, and parsnips)

Any other favorite salad ideas that pair well with a balsamic vinaigrette?