Sunday, January 6, 2008

Recipe: Basic balsamic vinaigrette

In response to a recent comment, here's my recipe. This, like many things I cook, is something I make by eye and taste rather than a recipe. I make it probably a couple of times a week to replenish a jar I keep in my refrigerator.

Here is the recipe, which I usually double:
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. prepared Dijon mustard
1 Tbl. minced shallot
1 garlic clove, minced
fresh ground pepper to taste

Combine all ingredient except the olive oil in a glass measuring cup. Pour in olive oil slowly while whisking continuously.

This basic recipe can be adapted using other vinegars such as white wine and raspberry.

I rarely use other dressing for green salad and haven't bought bottled dressing in years. What I do vary are the additions to salad greens, according to what's in season.
Fall/winter: pear, fig, mandarin orange, persimmon, pomegranate seeds, Japanese turnips

Spring/summer: tomatoes, tomatoes, and more tomatoes (we don't eat fresh tomatoes at all in the offseason, so we're dying for them when they come in season), spring onions
This vinaigrette's uses extend well beyond a dressing for salad greens. I heat a couple tablespoons of it in a wok to saute winter greens and in the summer drizzle it over fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil for a quick appetizer. A true kitchen workhorse!


Maritsa said...

Woohoo! Thanks! Mine is pretty close except I like lemon sometimes instead of the vinegar. One last request if I may, could you request a good balsamic vinegar?

Thanks a million! Maritsa

Cindy said...

You can spend a ton of money on vinegar, but I'm in agreement with Cook's Illustrated, which several years ago gave high marks to Whole Food's house brand, 365. I also think Trader Joe's house brand is fine.

I like using lemon sometimes too, especially since I've got a Meyer lemon tree in my backyard that is really starting to produce some wonderful fruit.

Jamey said...

Much as I love its flavor, mustard doesn't agree with me. Can you suggest an alternate ingredient for your vinaigrette?

Cindy said...

Jamey: Hmm. You could just leave out the mustard. How sad about you and mustard! It is such a wonderful thing.

I've also recently followed someone's advice to add a splash of raspberry vinegar, which brightens up the taste a little bit without changing the basic flavor.