Archive for the ‘dressing’ Category

Giselle’s Vinaigrette

vinaigretteThis simple vinaigrette recipe came to me from my mother. Coming from French peasant stock, a salad was always a part of every dinner meal, and the dressing was always a vinaigrette such as this, not the creamy concoctions that have become popular in American cooking.

In addition to its obvious use with salads, this vinaigrette also makes an excellent marinade for white meats like chicken or fish. Scale the ingredients up to make the quantity you need.

 Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive¬† oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 smallish clove garlic minced
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard

Directions

In a bowl, add the ingredients. Mix using a broad-bottomed spoon. While mixing, crush the garlic with the bottom of the spoon against the bowl to release flavor.

Variations

As much as I’m a fan of experimentation, this is one recipe that is just about perfect as is. Each component is integral and balanced in its proportions. A quality olive oil is the only oil to use. Red wine vinegar, unless you prefer balsamic (too strong and bitter to my taste) is the only choice as well. The dijon mustard is also an important part of the flavor–don’t be tempted to leave it out. If you scale the recipe, be careful to keep the proportions of two parts oil to one part vinegar.

The only addition I’ve tried that has worked on occasion is up to one teaspoon of a freshly chopped herb: chives or thyme or basil, for example. But one at a time, not all three. And fresh only…leave the dried stuff out. If you do add an herb, as with the garlic, use a spoon to crush it against the bottom of the bowl, releasing flavor.

Especially if you are using this as a marinade for white meat, you might consider adding a little fresh lemon or lime juice.