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Old 07-11-2020, 06:12 PM   #1
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How do you make your vinaigrettes?

With summer in fulls swing and a lot greens to eat from the garden and farmers market, I've been using vinaigrettes a lot.

Something I've picked up from Alice Waters's books is the "anatomy" of a good vinaigrette. It seems to be some form of aromatic (like minced shallot or garlic) that is soaked in a bit of acid (usually vinegar or citrus juice) to soften the flavor. Then there is the fat (usually olive oil) that you slowly whisk into your acid to emulsify it. Add a healthy pinch of salt, and you've got a tasting dressing on your hand.

I feel like I've got the basic vinaigrette down. But I'd love to riff on different variations of it.

Some variations I've tried in the past include a citrus vinaigrette where I used the zest and juice of a lemon, lime, and orange. And then I've done a bacon vinaigrette where I cooked diced bacon until it was crispy, mixed in scallions, and then added the olive oil and vinegar. That was definitely one of my favorites - not surprising since it's hard to go wrong with bacon hah!

What are some of your favorite vinaigrettes you make? I'd love some inspiration so I can try something new!

Thanks everyone :)

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Old 07-11-2020, 06:17 PM   #2
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A Little mustard is a nice touch.
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Old 07-11-2020, 06:19 PM   #3
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Ooo good idea! Thank you. That reminds me that my wife's aunt has a vinaigrette recipe where she uses dijon and a bit of agave nectar. Gives it a sweet and spicy element to it
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Old 07-11-2020, 06:42 PM   #4
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I almost always have some Dijon mustard in my vinaigrette. It helps the vinaigrette emulsify more quickly, as well as adding a nice flavour.

Sometimes I use anchovy paste in vinaigrette. That is a nice flavour boost.

When I have a lot of fresh herbs handy, I will make a largish batch of vinaigrette that I can use for several salads. It is just basic: apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, a bit of salt and pepper, maybe some garlic powder (it keeps better in a vinaigrette that will be in the fridge for more than a week, than using fresh garlic), and EVOO. Then, instead of adding herbs to the vinaigrette, I add fresh, chopped herbs to the salad.
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Old 07-11-2020, 06:49 PM   #5
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Mustard is usually added as an emulsifier

But it adds great taste
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Old 07-11-2020, 08:20 PM   #6
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I didn’t know that about the mustard making it easier to emulsify! Very cool trick. Thank you both for mentioning that.

Love the herb idea, especially using the herbs in the salad directly!

I’ve not mustard (pun intended) the courage to use anchovies or anchovy paste. Definitely something I want to do though. I know it’s a great flavor booster!
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Old 07-11-2020, 08:56 PM   #7
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Yes, as TaxLady says, dried herbs in the dressing, fresh herbs, minced or whole leaves tossed directly in the salad. You get a flavor burst as opposed to a more uniform taste. I like minced or slivered garlic, and do put that into the dressing.

Vinegars. I use red wine vinegar most often. Other vinegars, depending on ( whim, mood, which bottle was closest in the cupboard??) what else is being served with the salad, so rice vinegar, white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar. sometimes balsamic. I don't think I've ever had champagne vinegar. Use your definition of a good olive oil. Flavored oils, walnut, sesame etc are flavor boosters, not the main taste.

And yes to dijon mustard, almost a must have in my vinaigrette.

Lemon juice is pretty frequently used, sometimes limes I cut back but only a little on the vinegar.

Vinaigrettes are good tossed with roasted veggies, esp asparagus, green beans, brussel sprouts. And with some raw veggies, thinking peapods or zucchini And it makes an all right dipping sauce for crusty bread, although mostly, however infrequent we do this, it's just olive oil and a herb or two.

S & P.

We tend to dress individual servings at the table, saves on wilty leftover salads. And finally, I tend to over-dress my salad. I think a really good salad should let the ingredients be the main part and the dressing is like the frosting on a cake, be there but not overwhelming. Hard for me to achieve.
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Old 07-11-2020, 08:58 PM   #8
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I always add anchovy paste. And green olive paste if I have it (usually after I've made tapenade).
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Old 07-11-2020, 09:55 PM   #9
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I like using Sara Moulton's "Once a Week Vinaigrette" recipe as a base. Sometimes I'll make a full recipe and use as-is one night, then split into two or three jars and season with different herbs or seaonings.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiskadoodle View Post
...We tend to dress individual servings at the table, saves on wilty leftover salads. And finally, I tend to over-dress my salad. I think a really good salad should let the ingredients be the main part and the dressing is like the frosting on a cake, be there but not overwhelming. Hard for me to achieve.
Himself used to drown his salads. He preferred it that way! I used to tell him that his lettuce could do the backstroke in his bowl. I also used to show him how much dressing was getting sent down the drain. He got the hint. Speaking of hint? Shaker tops on salad bottles are a great help. Some of the bottles come with it, some don't. Usually you can save, wash, and relocate the shaker top from one bottle to another.
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Old 07-12-2020, 10:01 PM   #10
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Vinaigrettes are good tossed with roasted veggies, esp asparagus, green beans, brussel sprouts. And with some raw veggies, thinking peapods or zucchini And it makes an all right dipping sauce for crusty bread, although mostly, however infrequent we do this, it's just olive oil and a herb or two.
I LOVE using vinaigrettes on roasted vegetables. Glad I'm not the only one haha. I think limiting your vinaigrettes to just salads is such a missed opportunity. I'm passionate enough about it that I've even been thinking writing a blog post about i haha.
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Old 07-12-2020, 10:29 PM   #11
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Last week I roasted a chicken on a bed of vegis. I poured a vinaigrette with parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme on the vegis and brushed it on the chicken. That was wonderful, especially the roasted vegis. I have also used a well seasoned vinaigrette to brush on pork chops on the grill. They got brushed a few times while grilling. Before I serve the meal, I bring the leftover vinaigrette to a boil for a good 10 seconds to kill any microorganisms it has picked up from the raw meat and then serve it as a sauce.
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Old 07-13-2020, 09:49 AM   #12
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Chimichurri sauce is an Argentinian vinaigrette that's intended for use on beef. Kayelle and I have both posted slightly different recipes for it.

I made a vinaigrette last night to use partly as a quick marinade and partly as a finishing sauce. Lemon juice, homemade Dijon-style grainy mustard, olive oil, Penzeys Greek seasoning, extra dried oregano from the garden, salt and a bit of honey to balance the flavor. Really good.
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Old 07-13-2020, 09:53 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiskadoodle View Post
And finally, I tend to over-dress my salad. I think a really good salad should let the ingredients be the main part and the dressing is like the frosting on a cake, be there but not overwhelming. Hard for me to achieve.
And that's why bread was invented - to sop up the extra dressing
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Old 07-13-2020, 09:58 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
Last week I roasted a chicken on a bed of vegis. I poured a vinaigrette with parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme on the vegis and brushed it on the chicken. That was wonderful, especially the roasted vegis. I have also used a well seasoned vinaigrette to brush on pork chops on the grill. They got brushed a few times while grilling. Before I serve the meal, I bring the leftover vinaigrette to a boil for a good 10 seconds to kill any microorganisms it has picked up from the raw meat and then serve it as a sauce.
I also put vinaigrettes on roasted and grilled vegetables, and in pasta salads. I even have a recipe for potato salad that uses a vinaigrette dressing instead of a creamy one.

Last night I made grilled chicken using the same method you did, except that I divided the vinaigrette into two bowls - one for before cooking and one for after.

I changed the ingredients a bit - added lemon zest, honey and oregano instead of rosemary - and it was delicious.
https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/...on-recipe.html
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Old 07-13-2020, 07:49 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by SaltSearSavor View Post
With summer in fulls swing and a lot greens to eat from the garden and farmers market, I've been using vinaigrettes a lot.

Something I've picked up from Alice Waters's books is the "anatomy" of a good vinaigrette. It seems to be some form of aromatic (like minced shallot or garlic) that is soaked in a bit of acid (usually vinegar or citrus juice) to soften the flavor. Then there is the fat (usually olive oil) that you slowly whisk into your acid to emulsify it. Add a healthy pinch of salt, and you've got a tasting dressing on your hand.

I feel like I've got the basic vinaigrette down. But I'd love to riff on different variations of it.

Some variations I've tried in the past include a citrus vinaigrette where I used the zest and juice of a lemon, lime, and orange. And then I've done a bacon vinaigrette where I cooked diced bacon until it was crispy, mixed in scallions, and then added the olive oil and vinegar. That was definitely one of my favorites - not surprising since it's hard to go wrong with bacon hah!

What are some of your favorite vinaigrettes you make? I'd love some inspiration so I can try something new!

Thanks everyone :)

SSS, here's how we roll at our house:

https://mykitcheninthemiddleofthedes...alad-dressing/

Click image for larger version

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Once DH has finished off the little fishies that I can't stand, I save the Oil and use that, as in the recipe above
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Old 07-13-2020, 08:54 PM   #16
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I have also used a well seasoned vinaigrette to brush on pork chops on the grill. They got brushed a few times while grilling. Before I serve the meal, I bring the leftover vinaigrette to a boil for a good 10 seconds to kill any microorganisms it has picked up from the raw meat and then serve it as a sauce.
I've used vinaigrettes over roasted chicken and vegetables but never for steak or pork chops for before cooking. I bet the fat helps get a really nice browning too!
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Old 07-13-2020, 08:55 PM   #17
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Once DH has finished off the little fishies that I can't stand, I save the Oil and use that, as in the recipe above
Genius! I love being able to reuse ingredients that would normally get thrown away like that.
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Old 07-14-2020, 08:38 AM   #18
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SSS, here's how we roll at our house:

https://mykitcheninthemiddleofthedes...alad-dressing/

Attachment 41795


Once DH has finished off the little fishies that I can't stand, I save the Oil and use that, as in the recipe above
I also use the anchovy oil in salad dressings. When I make Caesar salad I also add it to the homemade dressing. Like you said it gives a wonderful "what's that?" flavor.
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Old 07-14-2020, 08:59 AM   #19
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Last night, I made a simple balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey and s&p mixture to dress a simple avocado, tomato and red onion salad we had for our evening meal.. Quite yummy..

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Old 07-15-2020, 07:52 AM   #20
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Olive oil, a bit of raspberry, strawberry, or blueberry puree, apple cider vinager makes up my favorite viagereelttes. The Re great with tossed green salads, on raw cruciferous veggies, and brushed onto pork, or poultry, aked, broiled, or barbecue
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