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!
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
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.
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.
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 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, 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!
You know when I make something we really enjoy, I like to pass it on and share. Given the season and that herbs are so plentiful, this uber herby vinaigrette is one of those things. We got our hands on a beautiful piece of tuna last week, so I tried to make from memory a Salad Nicoise I had enjoyed at Buvette on a solo visit and really wanted to make for Ted. After a little Google searching, I came up with a vinaigrette recipe, as this was the one component I was coming up dry on for the salad. A recipe by Tyler Florence was what I took the most away from, so I want to give a shout-out in thanks! I altered it just a bit. Here is what I whipped up that is pretty tasty, really herby, and also worked as a marinade for the tuna before I grilled it. So it really did double duty.
Mince 1 large garlic clove as finely as you can. Chop up 2 tablespoons of parsley, as well as 1 heaping tablespoon of fresh chopped tarragon. Put all of that in a jar that has a lid. To that jar add the juice of 1 lemon, a tablespoon of Dijon mustard, and 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar. Add liberal amount of salt and fresh cracked black pepper and a half of a cup of the best extra virgin olive oil you can get your hands on. Vinaigrette is always the time to use your very best olive oil. Now put that lid on and shake, shake, shake. Make this very first thing when you start your cooking so it can sit a bit and all blend together before you dress your salad. This is divine on any salad, not just Salad Nicoise. Just know it packs a serious herby punch, but what a good punch it is. This can easily sit in the fridge for a few days too. Enjoy!
Just can’t seem to get enough kale. Love it. So healthy for you. So filling. What I also love about it is how well it keeps in the fridge. I bought a good sized bunch the day we got back from New York almost 2 weeks ago. Still was going strong when I took it out yesterday to make a little salad to take to the shop. Kale is also so great as it does not wilt easily, making it super transportable for salads for lunch, picnics, whenever. I just put the vinaigrette in the container first on the bottom and put the kale directly on top. When I am ready to serve it, I just shake the whole thing around, and the salad becomes perfectly dressed.
For the vinaigrette, maple syrup helps tremendously to add a bit of sweetness and take away any bitter the kale might have. In a bowl add a big dollop of Dijon mustard. To that add a few good glugs of maple syrup. Then the juice of one lemon. Salt & pepper. Then whisk in extra virgin olive oil until it all incorporates. Finally add Parmesan that has been grated super fine. Combine all for a flavorful vinaigrette.
I most times like to add dried cherries or cranberries to the salad. Yesterday it was cherries. Tear up kale into bite sized pieces, being sure to omit the tough spine. I just tear around the spine and discard them. Once all is mixed together, add another sprinkling of Parm to the top of the salad. I had it alongside Beecher’s mac & cheese, for a hearty, tasty lunch on a rainy day at the shop.
When I find something for the shops that I have never seen before, it excites me to no end. Such is the case when I spotted this lime vinegar. Yep, you read that right, lime vinegar. Oh what fun a bottle of this would be for whipping up a tangy vinaigrette or creating a marinade with extra virgin olive oil. My mind starts racing. Plus I really like the labeling, the bottle shape, the whole package really. When what is as good on the inside is as good on the outside–it is that winning combo I am always in search of. Fresh lime vinegar, who knew? Yum.