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Ted’s Tip No. 145

The easiest, simplest vinaigrette just as it is, which you then can build upon to create all sorts of others. By adding mustard, herbs, shallots, etc. In a measuring cup add 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice. To that add salt & pepper. Then whisk in a half of a cup of the best extra virgin olive oil you can get your hands on. 



 

 

Garlic Vinaigrette by Alice Waters 

Since yesterday was Valentine’s Day and I really wanted to write that post, so it pushed back my Wine & Dine Wednesday post by a day, but I think it will be worth the wait. While in San Francisco a few weeks back, I was invited by one of my fab blog readers in Berkeley, to join her for dinner at Chez Panisse. The evening was sublime on so many levels, with many lovely memories. What I want to share is one of the more perfectly simple yet sophisticated all at the same time, a vinaigrette for the ‘garden lettuces’ we each began the meal with. Seriously, I have relived that salad over so many times in my head since back in Seattle. The dressing made the lettuces be the star. We had it for as part of our Valentine supper last eve, and it again just blew me away. 

You will need: 1 small garlic clove, salt, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, freshly ground black pepper, 3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Find the best garden, or farmers market or grocery store lettuce you can get your hands on.

(1) Wash the greens and dry them well, first in a salad spinner and then by rolling them up in a towel. Refrigerate until used. (2) Put a peeled garlic clove and 2 big pinches of salt in a mortar and pound into a purée, with no chunks remaining. Add the wine vinegar, grind in some black pepper, and taste for the balance of salt and vinegar. Allow to macerate for a few minutes, and (3) whisk in olive oil. Taste the dressing with a leaf of lettuce. It should taste bright and lively without being too acidic or oily; adjust the salt, vinegar, or oil as needed. To dress the salad, put several generous handfuls of greens in a large bowl. Toss with about three quarters of the vinaigrette, taste. The greens should be lightly coated but not overdressed. Add more dressing as needed. 



 

 

Shallot Vinaigrette

Shallots really bump up the flavor quotient in most things. In vinaigrette they really shine. In this version, they are pulsed in a food processor, so they become super mellow and a sweet top note to the lemon. The food processor breaks them down so you are getting their essence but not full pieces, which can often be a little intense. Could not be easier.

In the bowl of a food processor add 1 medium sized shallot, chopped up a bit. A 1/4 of a cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice. 3/4 of a cup of extra virgin olive oil. 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard. 1 tablespoon of honey. Plus a really healthy pinch of pepper and twice that of salt. Lid on. Pulse. Pulse some more. The shallot should be completely broken down and fully incorporated in the liquids. Have a taste and add more salt & pepper if you think it needs it. Done. Enjoy with whatever greens you like best. The remainder is fab stored in the fridge for your next salad. Add a sprinkling of Parmesan to it the second usage for a little added twist.



 

 

Parmesan, Lemon & Mustard Vinaigrette

20160602-061410.jpg This is such a simple dressing, a lemon vinaigrette, with the mustard emulsifying making it creamy and the addition of freshly grated Parmesan cheese to really pump up the flavor quotient.

Squeeze the juice of a good sized lemon into a bowl. We had 2 small lemons that I thought were close to equaling a large one. No pits please. Then a spoonful of mustard. I am not giving exact measurements as I want you to see how easy this is and you can make it more lemon-y or mustard-y by adding more or less. Then add a few good pinches of salt & pepper. Eyeball and add twice as much extra virgin olive oil as what is in the bowl. A 2 to 1 ratio of oil to acid is great here. Now with a fork, whisk it all together. The mustard will magically make it all mix together making a pretty darn yummy dressing. Now add the freshly grated Parm to the mixture. It adds a textured creaminess that takes it all to a different level. It becomes a thicker, richer vinaigrette, perfect served as is over your desired greens. Enjoy!



 

 

Veuve Clicquot Vinaigrette

20151127-091345.jpg Little jars of Veuve Clicquot vinaigrette were parting gifts last eve as guests left after Thanksgiving dinner. This is the time of year to collect any extra left at the bottom of bottles that is not consumed. Let it sit in the fridge uncorked for a few days or even weeks and then turn that liquid gold into a tasty vinaigrette to have on a healthy salad. It is a fun memory from the bottle of Champagne earlier enjoyed.

3 tablespoons Champagne
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil



 

 

A Mustard Jar Vinaigrette

20150716-061057.jpg This is what you whip up when you have that pesky jar of mustard sitting in your fridge and there is still mustard in it. But not enough mustard to really do anything major with, but enough still left that you can’t bring yourself to toss it. This is the easiest thing in the world to do, with things you have a bit extra of. Take one lemon and quarter it. Squeeze the heck out of those slices over a cup or small bowl, making sure seeds do not enter the liquid produced. Add that lemony gold to the waiting jar of mustard. Then peel one good sized clove of garlic, smashing it just a tad with the back of the knife. Add the whole smushed garlic to the jar. Then add a few generous pinches of salt and a few cracks of the pepper grinder into the lemony mustard mixture. Almost there. Told you this was incredibly easy. Lastly add the best extra virgin olive oil you have around, about then again as much as the liquid in the jar. Typically twice as much oil to acid is a good vinaigrette ratio. Just eyeball it, and no huge deal if you add a tad more or less. Slip the lid back on. Check twice to make sure it is on nice and tight. Yes, I have made this error and it is not pretty. Now, shake, shake, shake that bottle. If music is playing in the background while you are doing this, even better. Done. You just made a really tasty lemony garlicky vinaigrette. Pour right out of the bottle over greens of your choosing, making sure to leave the garlic clove in the bottle. Any remaining will last in the fridge quite nicely. With the garlic continuing to infuse even more. Add a little more of all the above to the bottle and you can make another round with any leftover.



 

 

Blood Orange & Shallot Vinaigrette

20150106-080001.jpg House made dressing is really just such a gratifying/simple thing to make, rarely if ever do we buy the stuff that is sold at the grocer. I find making vinaigrette highly satisfying using the freshest ingredients for a really healthy dressing. Blood oranges yelled out to me on Saturday on my Market walk, so thought I would take them for a little spin. The color of the skin, the color of the pulp, the color of the juice–all so gorgeous.

Zest the skin of a blood orange. Put that in the bowl you will use to make the vinaigrette. Then juice the blood orange/oranges. You will need a half of a cup of juice. Then add a tablespoon of finely chopped shallot. Then a heaping tablespoon of whole grain mustard. Plus a tablespoon of red wine or rice wine vinegar. 2 big pinches of salt and a pinch of pepper. Then slowly whisk in a cup of good extra virgin olive oil. The color is so beautiful. Enjoy over your favorite lettuce greens. If you have another blood orange remaining, cut that up, adding the segments for a truly special salad.



 

 

Jam Jar Vinaigrette

20141210-034128.jpg This post really is for all of you who are jam lovers like myself and how to make a vinaigrette with whatever jar of jam you have in the fridge that is almost used up. This is when I like to make a dressing out of the little bit that is left in the bottom of the jar. It makes for some very interesting flavor combinations for your next salad.

I make it right in the jar. Add a big dollop of Dijon mustard to the bit of jam at the bottom of the bottle. Then juice a lemon to the mix, as well as a good of amount of salt & pepper. We had a Meyer lemon so I used that last night. Then add extra virgin olive oil to the bottle, an equal amount to a bit more to what is already part of the mix. Put the jam jar lid back on, screw it on nice and tight, and shake shake shake. Done. Stores beautifully in the fridge. Ours rarely lasts that long because we eat it up right away on a big salad.

Happy middle of the week everyone!



 

 

Burrata with Peaches, Nectarines, Onions & Honey Vinaigrette

20140902-073656.jpg Burrata seems to be the ‘IT’ cheese of the moment. When in New York on this last trip, it was on every menu. A creamier version of mozzarella, it works really swell in salads of many variations. This composed Summery salad works well solo or served with the main course. We served tuna last evening and this was perfect right alongside it for a sweet/savory combo. Don’t blink or you will miss how easy this is.

Slice red onions paper thin, put in a bowl and cover them with rice wine vinegar. This takes the bite out of the onions and really makes them sort of sweet. Take the skin off of nectarines and peaches and cut into wedges. Scatter onto a platter. Cut up burrata and lay amongst the fruit. In a bowl, whip up a bit of rice wine vinegar, a dollop of honey and extra virgin olive oil. Pour this over the fruit and cheese. Then take the onions out of the bowl that have been sitting in the rice wine vinegar and scatter about the top of everything. It is very hard not to consume this entire platter by yourself it is so good. But your guests will be happy you shared.



 

 

Shelling Peas & Arugula

20140808-034429.jpg Shelling peas, also called English or garden peas, are abundant this time of year. We have been getting some really great ones out on the island and I have taken to serving them fresh out of the pod, uncooked, in a variety of things. I added the fresh raw peas to a salad Nicoise for a fresh hit a few weeks ago. They were a winner with a peppery arugula salad last week, adding just the right amount of sweetness to the salad. Not cooking them or even quickly blanching them keeps them incredibly sweet. They also stay such beautiful shades of vibrant green, which you know rates high in my book. They are like candy, so good you can eat them straight out of the pod for a quick snack.

For the salad I just mixed up a quick vinaigrette of fresh squeezed lemon juice, a dollop of Dijon mustard, salt & pepper and then slowly whisked in extra virgin olive oil. Mix that all together and pour over the arugula and toss. Sprinkle the fresh peas about, and top the whole lot with shavings of fresh Parmesan. Summer in a bowl!