Everyone needs a classic vinaigrette in their repertoire. It's perfect to toss with mixed greens as a very simple, but delicious, side dish. It's equally delicious drizzled over steamed or grilled vegetables, like green beans, asparagus, and artichokes. It even works to enliven simply prepared fish, chicken or meat.
The ratio is 3:1, 3 parts oil to one part acid. From there, you can go absolutely buck wild! Use whatever oil strikes your fancy; vary the acid from sharp vinegars to bright citrus juices. To make a creamy version, add a dollop of mayonnaise to the mix. Play with minced herbs, citrus zest, and different mustards. Add a touch of honey or maple syrup. The possibilities are endless!
There is an art to dressing delicate greens, and I'm going to share it with you, because there's nothing thrilling about a soggy salad. Tender baby leafs are easily drowned by vinaigrette. Their light, fluffy quality allows them to easily fill a giant bowl, making you think you need a hearty glug of dressing to coat them. Halt before you proceed! Start very conservatively. Add just a tablespoon of dressing, and toss, adding more as needed, gently tossing until the salad is just lightly coated. Taste a leaf. Sprinkle the salad with salt, if needed, and toss again. For the sake of of crispness, this should be the last thing you do before dinner is served.
If you were here, you would have witnessed breathlessness, excited eyes and extravagant hand gestures accompanying the vinaigrette possibilities speech. I'm so glad I have a place where I can be a food dork. Thanks for listening :-)
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp vinegar (sherry, champagne, red wine, or white wine are my favourites)
- 1/2 tbsp minced shallot
- 1/2 tsp dijon or grainy mustard
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
Measure all ingredients into a glass jar, secure lid and shake, shake, shake!
Recipe may be scaled up infinitely (double, tripled, quadrupled...). Keeps two weeks in the fridge.