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VINAIGRETTE

  •  
  • My version is simple and classic, easy clean up, no whisk, no mixing bowl, you mix it up in the storage container.
  • INGREDIENTS
  • Makes about one cup of dressing
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  • 1/4 cup of mild vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dry herbs crushed (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon dry minced garlic or shallots (optional)
  • 3/4 cup of oil


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DIRECTIONS
Put the vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper -- and the herbs, garlic or shallots if you are using them -- in a jar, cover it (tightly) and shake well to mix. Let it rest for five or ten minutes. Add the oil, put the lid back on and shake it well until it thickens. One minute of really vigorous shaking should be enough. It will keep for a week in the refrigerator. It does separate while it sits so you must shake it well before each use.

NOTES
The mixing jar -- this recipe makes a little more than one cup of dressing so the jar can be a small one. But it must have a tight-fitting lid. A mayonnaise jar is fine; I use a small jar that originally had stuffed green olives in it.

The acid -- often I use half red wine vinegar and half tarragon vinegar. You can also substitute various combinations of lemon or lime juice, rice wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, sherry vinegar, other wine vinegars, cider vinegar or fruit flavored vinegars -- raspberry is a fovorite.

The mustard -- classic Dijon mustard is called for, the smooth kind not the whole grain style. I have substituted Gulden's brown mustard with great sucess and even in a pinch I have used yellow French's ball park mustard. The dressing will still thicken even if you use only half the amount of mustard mentioned above, it all depends on the flavor you like for your dressing. Some vinaigrette recipes call for more than double the amount of mustard I use (as Nathan Lane might say, "Wow-wow-wow-WOW!).

The herbs and flavorings -- usually I use a mix of dried oregano, thyme, dill or tarragon. Sometimes I add dried minced garlic or shallots depening on my mood and the type of salad I have in mind. I tend to use dried rather than fresh herbs and seasonings because I think the dressing keeps better. If you plan to use it all immediately then go ahead and use fresh ingredients.

The oil -- what with the strong flavors of the vinegar, mustard and herbs I think it's a waste to use delicate (and expensive) oils. Generally I use corn oil. It seems to emulisify easily with the vinegar and other ingredients.

 

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