Saturday, September 20, 2008

Culinary Creations: Classic French Vinaigrette

One of my favorite things to eat is a nice, simple salad. It doesn't have to be packed full of meats and cheeses to get my attention. You just can't beat the natural flavors of mixed baby greens with the addition of whole basil leaves, parsley and dill, topped with a simple vinaigrette.

My favorite vinaigrette couldn't be easier to make: you only need an old jar, mustard or jam jars are the perfect size. What I like best is that it doesn't have a long list of ingredients like supermarket salad dressings. Most of which you have no idea what they even are.

This is my version of the Classic French Vinaigrette:
  • 1 part vinegar (white wine vinegar is my staple, but red wine vinegar is fine)
  • 3 parts extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 generous tsp of Dijon mustard (Maille is divine)
  • pinch or 2 of salt and sugar, to taste.

Now for the hard part: put them all in a jar, screw the lid on, and shake until they are all mixed together.

This is also my favorite accompaniment to a nicely steamed artichoke. Add a glass of Sancerre to achieve pure bliss!

Here are some variations:

  • You could use balsamic vinegar instead, but omit the extra sugar.
  • 1 tsp of dried Herbs de Provence
  • 1 tbsp of chopped fresh herbs
  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • 1 small shallot, chopped

The list could go on and on. It is the perfect base for a salad dressing, and is only as limited as your imagination...

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