I like this dish because it looks and tastes fancier than it actually is. I've been making this for several years now after first trying a slightly more labor intensive version (that called for ingredients I don't keep on hand). This recipe makes enough sauce to also cover your side dish and maybe even dip each and every bite into. I use my trusty cast iron skillet and my invaluable immersion blender to make this dish fast. It takes about 30 minutes from start to finish.
School has begun. My world, like most Moms, begins before the light of day has reached me. I am not a morning person. If I want to get a workout and shower in before I become my kids personal shuttle then I have exactly 15 minutes to get breakfast on the table. Real breakfast, full of real whole foods.
Earlier this year I shared my frustrations with gardening, I have had a garden for most of my married life with the exception of the summer we moved here. Last summer was my first go at gardening on this new (to us) land and despite lots and lots of hard work we really only saw meager results (you can read my woes here). This summer my results have been about the same, but we've done far less work (because I didn't plant nearly as many crops). In this area of the world (Eastern Carolinas) the summer is hot, muggy, and filled with mosquitoes. I can't run a bucket of scraps out to the compost without coming back looking like one of my children has spotted me with a giant pink marker, no matter what kind of store bought or homemade bug repellent I have slathered or sprayed on. This means that time outside in July and August are minimal. There were times this summer that my backyard looked more like a wild jungle than anything else.
We eat a lot of salad, especially in the summer when I just want to eat lighter meals in the heat. Even though kids are heading back to school and talk of Fall fills the air, the heat will not leave our area for a couple more months. So salads are still on the menu. The best way to keep salads from becoming boring are to change up the dressing. Really salad dressing is the star of any good salad, at the very least an award winning best supporting actor. Making salad dressing is far easier than spending what feels like f-o-r-e-v-e-r reading ingredient labels on the multitudes of commercial dressings (why am I reading the labels? to avoid soy, rancid vegetable oils, hydrogenated oils, added sugars, GMOs, food coloring, chemicals I can't pronounce, preservatives and who knows what else).
Why rustic? Because it is chopped, not mashed, whipped, food processed, or otherwise adulterated. It is simply chopped using a sturdy wooden spatula. It is also pretty basic with herbs and spices like parsley and paprika shining through. My favorite part is the addition of butter.... mmmm butter.