Beautiful Food Special Edition : Family Favorite Vinaigrettes

Olive oil and herbs

Part III.

Family Favorite Vinaigrettes

With herbal salts and homemade infused vinegars, making jam jar dressings to dip raw vegetables in, or vinaigrettes to toss through roasted vegetables is effortless. The following vinaigrettes  serve as a stepping stone to many simply dressed vegetable dishes in my kitchen.  Like the vinegars above, they are tools to uncomplicated cooking. Homemade vinaigrette makes a perfect dip and will keep well for at least a week in the refrigerator. Make more than needed for one particular meal because this makes cooking just that much easier.

Basic vinaigrette

  • one small shallot weighing 20 grams or a piece of a banana shallot
  • 40 grams Dijon mustard
  • 40 ml organic honey
  • 60 ml white wine pepper vinegar
  • 120 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • rosemary salt to taste or a natural sea salt of your choice

Peel the shallot and pound it to a paste in a pestle and mortar with a pinch of rosemary sea salt. Combine the shallot, Dijon muster and honey in a small bowl. Whisk the ingredients well before adding the olive oil in a long steady stream. Continue to whisk until the vinaigrette is smooth and pale yellow and all the oil is incorporated into the vinegar mix. Taste the vinaigrette for the right balance between, sweet, sour, salty and rich from olive oil. The vinaigrette can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

 Suggested combinations
Dip Romaine or butter lettuce into the basic vinaigrette. Cut celery or fennel sticks and serve them standing straight up in a glass filled with a few spoons of basic vinaigrette.  Cut new season apples into wedges and serve them along with the raw vegetable sticks made from any particular kind of flavor or color you are in the mood for. The combination of vegetables and basic vinaigrette make for an uncomplicated appetizer.  Decorate each place setting at the dinner table with an individually prepared vegetable-vinaigrette glass on any festive weeknight.

 


 

Pumpkins and peppers in a basket

 

Saffron vinaigrette

  • one clove of garlic
  • one small shallot equal in size to the garlic clove, about 20 grams
  • 60 grams Dijon mustard
  • 40 ml organic honey
  • the zest of one orange
  • 40 ml saffron vinegar
  • 40 ml fresh orange juice
  • 150 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • thyme salt to taste or a natural sea salt of your choice
  • a pinch of smoked paprika

Peel the garlic clove and shallot and pound it to a paste with a pestle and mortar, or put the garlic and shallots in a food processor or immersion blender until ground into a nice pulp. Add honey, orange juice and zest, Dijon mustard and saffron vinegar and mix the ingredients a few minutes with a whisk or simply place them in the blender. Add the olive oil slowly and blend the ingredients into a smooth and spicy vinaigrette. Add a pinch of smoked paprika to taste.

♦  Suggested combinations
This vinaigrette is more pungent than its basic counterpart due to the aroma of saffron and the addition of garlic. It makes a perfect dip for grilled Gulf or Mediterranean shrimp and is a marinade for simple grilled white fish. It can be poured over sweet potatoes  to make sweet potatoes or grilled pumpkin . Experiment with the quantity of saffron vinegar and Dijon in this vinaigrette. Add more or less according to personal preference. Substitute black pepper for smoked paprika for a milder flavor. Toss the saffron vinaigrette over pumpkin wedges and roast them in the oven at 200 degrees about 30 minutes, or until the pumpkin is well done with slightly caramelized edges.

 


Balsamic vinegar vinaigrette

  • 1 small red onion
  • 20 grams of Dijon mustard
  • 20 ml organic honey
  • 60 ml bay leaf balsamic vinegar
  • 120 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • rosemary salt or a natural sea salt of your choice

Peel the red onion and cut it into a fine dice. Sauté the red onion in a small skillet until the onion has turned dark purple and become sweet and caramelized. Stir the warm red onion through the Dijon mustard and honey. Whisk the ingredients well and add  the olive oil in a steady stream while continuously stirring until the vinegar has incorporated the oil. Add a pinch of herbal salt and some freshly ground pepper. Taste the balsamic vinaigrette for the right balance between sweet, sour and savory.

Suggested combinations

Toss the balsamic vinaigrette over pumpkin wedges and roast them in the oven at 200 degrees approximately 30 minutes, or until the pumpkin is well done with slightly caramelized edges.

Sauté mushrooms with fresh garlic and olive oil five minutes until lightly browned. Add a few tablespoons of  balsamic vinaigrette to the pan and allow the mushrooms to soak up the flavors while stirring constantly.  The mushrooms are ready to serve within approximately five minutes, or as soon as they have copper-colored edges,  Serve the mushrooms as they are, or with grilled radicchio.  Balsamic mushrooms make an excellent Thanksgiving  or winter holiday side dish.

Note

I invite you to read Jennifer Tyler Lee’s food stories in her book entitled “The 52 New Foods Challenge.”

One response

  1. Pingback: Preface to a Beautiful Food Special Edition « Recipe writings

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