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Gourmet Oil and Vinegar

Gourmet Oil and Vinegar

Vinaigrette for salad or pasta

Whisked, not shaken oil and vinegar vinaigrette

If you thought that vinaigrette is exclusively a salad partner, then you are highly mistaken. As a matter of fact, vinaigrette can be used with a number of dishes, including pasta, fish, and grilled vegetables. It is a very handy thing if you know how to make vinaigrette, as this sauce is simple, very easy to make, and can come from the ingredients that you already have stored in your pantry. A homemade vinaigrette is more economical and tastes leagues better than store-bought vinaigrette.

The two basic ingredients for vinaigrette are oil and vinegar, and the ratio between the two plays a very important role. Generally, it is three parts oil to one part vinegar, but if a milder, less acidic ingredient is used instead of vinegar, the proportion of the oil lessens. As with all things cooked and prepared, the best results will come from using the best and freshest ingredients.

You will need two hands in making vinaigrette: one hand to whisk the ingredients together, while the other is used for pouring in the oil. This is why it is important that your bowl is stationary as you work. Using a rubber bottomed bowl is most helpful, but if you don’t have one, shape a round towel into ring around the bottom of the bowl to provide the needed traction.

Begin by dissolving a bit of salt in the vinegar. This is done because salt dissolves more readily when it is mixed in the vinegar directly; you can still season and adjust the taste of your dressing at the end. Next, add a small amount of Dijon mustard and whisk until all of it is combined well into the vinegar. This acts as an emulsifying agent, which binds the oil and vinegar together. Now, pour in the oil in a slow, steady stream while whisking continuously and vigorously, until everything is incorporated well and emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper and your vinaigrette is done and ready for the taking.

Don’t be afraid to experiment and play around with this basic recipe by using a different type of oil or vinegar, such as garlic infused olive oil or balsamic or red-wine vinegar. You can also alter and increase the flavors of your dressing by adding herbs, shallots, garlic, or even citrus zest. As a way to top off your dishes, this vinaigrette can be tossed over salad greens, drizzled over grilled fish, meat or vegetables, or mixed with pasta.

Note: Your vinaigrette dressing will be as good as the ingrediemts you use to make it. Be sure to use a quality extra virgin olive oil as well as a fine vinegar.

vinaigrette, oil and vinegar, vinaigrette dressing


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