Dip Bread Appetizers

Dip Bread Appetizers

Archive for January, 2014

Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette

Saturday, January 11th, 2014

Easy Vinaigrette

Add character to your salad or meal by making some minor adjustments to a simple vinaigrette dressing which is made up of olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.

A vinaigrette is not just for salads. An entire course from entrée to dessert can include a light handed drizzle of vinaigrette. For example, when it is hot outside, a simple barbecued meal with tossed salad may be all that a vinaigrette is needed for.

Vinaigrette dressing is quite simple to prepare. Just remember the common ration of three to one. Three parts oil and one part citrus or vinegar. Anything that tastes a bit acidic. Use the best quality oil and vinegar, sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. First blend the salt and pepper into the vinegar and then briskly stir in the oil. That is all there is to making the basic vinaigrette dressing.

To prepare a classic vinaigrette, red wine vinegar and olive oil is used to which mustard, or shallots or herbs or spices can be added. Instead of olive oil, use walnut or hazelnut oil. Even balsamic or white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar will give a classic vinaigrette its special taste and turn a simple vinaigrette into something exceptionally special.

By using a little Dijon mustard that is whisked into the vinegar and then adding the olive oil, the two ingredients emulsify that much easier. It is a bit of a heavier mixture but most definitely worthy trying.

Whether you prefer a more tart vinaigrette depends on your unique taste. You can increase the ratio from three to four parts vinegar to one part oil or even more if you so desire. Each person’s likes and/or dislikes are varied and especially is this so with the kind of dressing used.

By mixing more oil to the vinegar, a milder tasting vinaigrette is prepared to compliment a delicate salad bed or fresh herbs. With a higher proportion of balsamic vinegar, a sharper vinaigrette is prepared and can be poured on a grilled steak or on bitter greens where tartness calls for a more distinct flavor.

Experiment with flavors, play with texture and the temperature or just plain keep it simple. Match mild rice wine vinegar with a touch of toasted sesame oil in which olive oil has been added. Or combine walnut oil with a mellow sherry vinegar. Chop basil, dice shallots or mash roasted garlic. Body is given the vinaigrette, not just flavor. You could even whisk in grated ginger or stone ground mustard and wild honey. Do you see the possibilities that a creative mind could dream up?

If you intend to roast a chicken or sear hanger steak than simply mix some of the meat juices with heated vinegar. Already you have turned dull meat into something appealing to the palate.

Even though you are able to “dress up” a vinaigrette dressing by adding all kinds of different ingredients, sometimes it is best to just “dress down” and leave it to the basic ingredients. The food flavor is greatly enhanced with something as effortless as simple vinaigrette. 

[tag]vinaigrette dressing[/tag]


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