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Gourmet Oil and Vinegar

Gourmet Oil and Vinegar

Archive for the Category 'Balsamic Vinaigrette'

Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing Recipe

Thursday, June 15th, 2006

Aged Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe


In a medium bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, honey, garlic, and red pepper. Add olive oil in a thin stream, whisking until emulsified. You can also use a food processor tp mix all the ingedients if you like.
Be sure to gradually whisk or blend the oil into the vinegar, you create an emulsion (an emulsion is a mixture of two liquids that usually don’t combine so readily or smoothly.)

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Simple Masserie Balsamic Vinaigrette

Friday, April 21st, 2006

Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe

  • 1/2 cup Modena balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup delicate extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled an crushed in a garlic press
  • pinch of dried red pepper finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon Tamari soy sauce

In a food processor or blender (at a low speed), mix together Masserie balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, honey, garlic, and grated red pepper. Add olive oil in a thin stream, while blender is running. This way you will mix the oil and vinegar which are two liquids that normally would not combine easily.

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Vinaigrette Or Marinade

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Balsamic vinegar is an ingredient for both a vinaigrette and a marinade. People are wanting to eat healthier and are observing closely the foods that are high in certain ingredients, which can be harmful to their health. It has been drilled into us to stay away from foods that have trans fats, high carbs and high caloric ingredients. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to know how a company can list a specific food as “low-cal” and “low-carb” on the various product labels. FDA wants a definition as to what is expected when listing these nutritional values.

Perhaps a healthy alternative is preparing foods the old fashioned, simplistic way with no additives. Instead of pouring creamy dressing on your salad, why not try extra virgin olive oil with a splash of balsamic vinegar, drizzled over a crispy salad. You can even use this mixture over chicken and beef. What makes this even more interesting is that you can prepare your own balsamic flavoring, using your favorite herbs and spices, thus creating a personalized flavor. When prepared this way, a homemade balsamic vinaigrette that is used for green salads can also be used to marinate meats.

You don’t have to purchase expensive ingredients. There is no preparation lasting hours. Simplicity is the key in preparing balsamic vinegar. And…the health benefits far outweigh what you can purchase in the grocery store.

Balsamic vinegar is now being used by professional chefs and celebrities. No longer is balsamic vinegar only used as a drizzle over garden fresh salads. It is also being used as a marinade over prepared meats.

A quality bottle of balsamic vinegar can be used instead of the usual wine being brought to a family dinner. With the host’s contribution of extra virgin olive oil, each guest can provide their own unique blend and a taste testing evening will be enjoyed by all in attendance. A unique taste includes the following ingredients for a marinade, ideal for steak or chicken before grilling. 

½ cup aged balsamic vinegar
¼ cup extra virgin Spanish olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon Dijon style mustard
2 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed through a garlic press
1 teaspoon brown sugar or honey

In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients and place the meat in a plastic bag which is then sealed. Pour the marinade mixture over meat and coat the meat. Leave the meat mixture in the refrigerator up to two hours for tender cuts or up to 24 hours for less tender cuts. While marinating, turn at least one time.

For a simple balsamic vinaigrette, use ½ cup Spanish olive oil, ½ cup balsamic vinegar, a garlic clove, 1 teaspoon ground mustard powder, 1 pinch of sea salt and pepper to taste. Combine the ingredients and you will have created a delightful vinaigrette.

With both vinaigrette and marinade, you will have a unique taste guaranteed to make the evening with friends a success.

oil and vinegar, marinade, vinaigrette

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A perfect Vinaigrette

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Getting the Perfect Vinaigrette

It never changes – the two basic elements of vinaigrette will always be oil and vinegar. This is why it is so surprising that for some people, making the perfect vinaigrette is such a trial and error procedure.

The creation of the perfectly balanced vinaigrette is heavily dependent on the other ingredients that come into play: balancing the hints of Dijon mustard with the just the right amount of garlic and touching up with dashes of pepper. Making these ingredients work together requires that the one preparing the vinaigrette understands the importance of each ingredient, and how it contributes to the overall taste of the finished product

A Vinaigrette that tastes excellent doesn’t follow a formula, nor is it a procedure governed by strict rules. The key to making the perfect vinaigrette is one easy rule: taste as you go. Who knows, on certain days, your ingredients may not be at their best tastes, and following a formula could mean life or death for the success of your dressing. Adjust with your taste as you go along, that’s the key.

The preparation of a fine vinaigrette, like we said, follows no rules. Yes, there are a set of guidelines, and suggestions, but generally, everything can be adjusted to suit each one’s preferences. For example, it is not a strict rule that the ratio would be one part vinegar for every three parts oil; it may be recommended, but nowadays, with most people cutting back on fatty intake, this ratio has definitely adjusted. Although from some professional chefs, vinaigrette follows a one to one proportion, most individuals are happy with a one to two mix.

Vinaigrette making is only limited to how far you are willing to go and experiment. There are a wide variety of vinegars and oils out in the market all ready for the taking. Experiment with rice wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar. Rice vinegar gives a more delicate flavor, whilst the balsamic kind, having been aged, is milder than the other. These vinegars carry flavors that are strong on the senses, so although they are exciting alternatives, go easy on them as using too much might overpower the dressing.

Just like vinegar, olive oils come in a plethora of flavors, strengths, and blends. There are so many variations to olive oil nowadays; there are those infused with garlic, chilies, herbs, fruits, and even nuts. Just remember to proceed with caution if using flavored oils as they also carry flavors that hit the senses heavily, and the thing to achieve is just the right balance of things. Also take into account, for  both olive oil and vinegar, you get what you pay for. For excellent results, choose a quality extra virgin olive oil, and an authentic Italian balsamic vinegar.

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Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

Saturday, October 18th, 2008

Vinaigrette Dressing: Adding A Touch of Zest to Any Salad

It’s definitely easy and fun to put together various fruits and vegetables to make an interesting and superb salad. But what is really mind boggling in the end is the dressing… what dressings go best with the salads we’ve put together.

Different dressings go best with different types of salad. For example, a mango and shrimp salad on Boston lettuce with avocado, red pepper, and cilantro would taste great with a dressing of olive oil, peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, and jalapeño pepper. How about a salad of spinach, capers, and hard boiled eggs with onions and feta cheese? A blueberry dressing would provide the perfect accompaniment to this salad mix. A lemon dill dressing would be the perfect match to a salad of hard boiled eggs, beets, blanched green beans, cucumbers, and yellow and red tomatoes on green leaves. Finally, a romaine and strawberry salad goes really well with a sweet molasses dressing.

If we stretch our imagination and creativity a little, the dressings we make at home for our salads can become innovative and interesting. Salad dressing is easy to make, as most of them have oil and vinegar as their base ingredients, with salt and a little spice. A sweet ingredient is also often added to the mix to round off its flavor. Given this base, the possibilities for new dressings are endless.


Here are some dressings you may want to try at home.

Blue cheese dressings are great with loose-leaf lettuce, such as a Boston lettuce. For a blue cheese dressing, you will need:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup vegetable oil, or canola oil
  • 1/3 cup blue cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced

In a small pan, heat the olive oil over a medium flame (about 140 degrees). Next, mix the egg yolks and mustard in a blender for about 20 seconds. Add the salt and the lemon and blitz for another few seconds. Run the blender at a slow speed and slowly blend in the heated olive oil. One it has been fully incorporated into the mixture, add the canola or vegetable oil until it is well blended. Pour this mixture into a serving container and mix in the crumbled blue cheese and sage.

A blueberry dressing works best with simple green salad without tomatoes. For blueberry dressing, you will need:

  • 1 cup frozen blueberries, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon mint, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Simply combine all the ingredients into a Mason jar, or similar container, and shake vigorously to combine.

A sweet and sour Dijon dressing would work great with a salad of shredded Brussell sprouts. You will need:

  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • Salt and balck pepper to taste
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

Using a medium sized saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, lemon juice, and garlic. Bring this to a simmer for about two minutes to cook the garlic. Once simmered through and garlic has cooked, whisk in the mustard, salt and pepper, and olive oil. Transfer your dressing to a container and it is ready to serve.




Fresh Sliced Tomato and Avocado Salad with Balsamic

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Fresh Sliced Tomato and Avocado Salad with Gorgonzola Cheese, Balsamic Vinegar, and Olive Oil

This simple yet delicious recipe combines fresh, simple ingredients with some of the most delicious and rich ingredients that can be found. This yields four to six servings.

Take a head of crisp Boston lettuce, or crisp leaf lettuce. Clean the head, core, and dry and separate into individual leaves. Nest, take two large, firm and ripe tomatoes; core them and slice them into thin wedges or slices. You will also need to firm, ripe avocados. Peel the fruit and remove the seeds. Slice them thinly and sprinkle the avocado with lemon juice to prevent the avocado from discoloring.

Other ingredients needed will include: extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar (as desired); salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning; crumbled Gorgonzola or Roquefort or Stilton or blue cheese – whichever is desired – at room temperature; and about one to two tablespoons chopped parsley or Italian parsley.

Arrange the lettuce leaves on a serving platter. Arrange the tomatoes and avocado on top of the lettuce leaves and sprinkle them with salt and pepper to taste. Take your olive oil and balsamic vinegar and drizzle the desired amount over the vegetables and fruit. Be careful, though, not put too much of the oil and vinegar as it will make the tomatoes and avocadoes soggy. Top it all off with the crumbled cheese and a garnishing of fresh or Italian parsley. You can now serve your salad and enjoy it immediately.

There are several variations that can be made with this recipe as well. You can add a small Vidalia onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings. Any other sweet variety onion will do as well too. You may also add green onions and ripe or black olives over your appetizer.

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Whisking the vinaigrette

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

Dressing It Up Simply

Anywhere you go, the basic ingredients behind the vinaigrette salad dressing is something acidic, and an oil. Some of the most popular acids used in vinaigrette are vinegar and citrus juice, mixed with olive, nut, or neutral flavored oils.

In preparing the dressing, all you have to do is to briskly whisk the oil and vinegar together in order for their flavors to mesh together. When your dressings are not emulsified, the mixture of the oil and vinegar always separate afterwards, which is why whisking the ingredients before using them is always a good idea. If you want to keep the two substances together, an emulsifier is needed. Some of the most common emulsifiers being used are Dijon mustard. For a successful emulsion, the trick is to mix the emulsifier and the acid together before gradually whisking in the oil. Adding the oil too quickly will only result in the separation of the two ingredients – or a kitchen “break”. Similarly, adding the mustard to an acid oil mixture will only result in the clumping of the mustard.

One of the best tricks in whisking involves the use of a kitchen towel. This simple yet effective method helps the process of whisking. If your bowl is jostling around, take a kitchen towel and twist it until taut. Form the towel into a ring and set your bowl atop your towel ring. This helps to stabilize your bowl and facilitate the whisking.

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Oil and Vinegar Vinaigrette

Monday, June 16th, 2008

A vinaigrette dressing for fresh salads is just one of the many ways that olive oil and balsamic vinegar can be used and enjoyed. For example, to enhance pasta combine olive oil with some garlic and finish with some grated parmesan cheese for perfect results. A put anesca can be made by mixing olive oil with olives, tomatoes (fresh and sundried) and anchovies. For a quick and delicious evening meal sauté chicken with garlic and olive oil and finish by combining with pasta. Such a simple concept that results in a light and pleasurable meal. Olive oil is also ideal for creating marinades for meat and poultry. A delightful dish of lemon chicken can be created by baking the poultry with lemon after it has been previously marinated in olive oil.

By combining extra virgin olive oil with herbs and spices of your choice a flavored oil worthy of gourmet status can be achieved. The advantages are that you can adjust the flavours added to the oil to suit your personal taste. Gourmet olive oil recipes can make a huge difference to the overall flavour of the dish you are preparing and meat, poultry or fish will take on some of the subtle, complementary and interesting flavours of the herbs and spices that you have used. Creating a recipe for your own gourmet oil is a satisfying and personal endeavour and you may find that though many good restaurants create their own flavoured oils, and delicious as they may be, they will not be exactly the same as the ones that you have prepared yourself which will be entirely unique and suit your personal taste perfectly.

There is a certain spiritual significance attached to the act of giving olive oil as a gift or to welcome someone to a new home. It has been said that olive oil is a gift that inspires the gods to bestow blessing of wealth and wellbeing to a home. It also brings with it connotations of summer days and a happy atmosphere. So, by offering gifts of olive oil to friends and acquaintances, especially as a housewarming gift you are offering them your good wishes for a life filled with happiness in their new home.

For a perfect, gourmet housewarming gift it is worth considering presenting a picnic hamper or basket filled with an array of delicious Mediterranean food items including extra virgin olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar, fresh rustic bread, some fresh salad vegetables, pasta, parmesan cheese, maybe some fresh baguette sandwiches and an olive oil decanter., you may even like to include your own special vinaigrette dressing recipe! You now have all the ingredients for a wonderful Mediterranean lunch or dinner that can be enjoyed without too much preparation, and is for a family moving into a new home nothing could be more welcome.

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Salad Dressing Taste

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Salad dressing taste sometimes receives the least of any attention paid to a meal. You may have had the misfortune to have tasted green salads that were doused in burning dressings that were mostly vinegar; tasteless blends of olive oil and little else; or worse yet, store-bought dressings loaded with sugar and cloying to the palate.

Many people eventually acquire a taste for these less-than-satisfactory dressings and never discover the truly wonderful dressings that they are missing out on. It is a simple task, however, to prepare great tasting salad dressings in the comfort of your own kitchen.

The best place to start is with the font of all salad dressings – the classic French vinaigrette. The challenge in making this dressing is being able to balance the various tastes – vinegar or lemon juice for the sour acid taste, olive oil and other ingredients for sweetness, and black or hot peppers or mustard for heat. As most experienced cooks will understand, the higher the quality of your ingredients, the better the flavour of your final product.

The dressing for a basic green salad to serve four should consist of approximately 1 ½ teaspoons of mustard, a tablespoon of vinegar, 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil, and salt and pepper. Place all the ingredients except the oil in a bowl and whisk them together until you obtain a smooth texture. Then, while continuing to whisk the mixture, drizzle in the olive oil. You should also remember that salad dressings almost never come out the same way twice, and you should taste your dressing frequently as you make it so you can perform the necessary adjustments.

Mastering the art of making vinaigrette opens a whole world of possibilities to you, especially when fresh herbs become available in the summer. You should not be afraid to experiment with different ingredients, and any mistakes that you make can be remedied through the addition of more vinegar and olive oil. When fresh herbs are not available, you may find yourself using dried herbs, which is perfectly acceptable. You should remember, however, that the taste in dried herbs is twice that of fresh herbs, because the water within them has evaporated, concentrating the taste. A mixture of dried herbs known as Herbes de Provence is widely available in gourmet stores and tastes excellent.

There are many herbs that you could use to flavour your dressing with such as tarragon, rosemary, thyme, mint, cilantro, chervil, parsley, and dill. You can use any combination of herbs too. France, Italy, and California also produce some excellent herbed olive oils, but these tend to be rather expensive.

If you prefer a milder, less-acidic vinaigrette, consider using rice vinegar or cider vinegar. If you have a fondness for sweet dressings, then the balsamic vinegars found in supermarkets, while not truly authentic, help you create a pleasantly sweet dressing. Authentic balsamic vinegars from Modena, Italy, cost $160 or more for a bottle of only 3.5 oz.

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How to make a good vinaigrette

Sunday, April 06th, 2008

To make good vinaigrette, you have to be mindful of the proper blend. It should neither be too oily or too acidic. The sharp taste of the vinegar should be a counterpoint to the oil.

The suggested mixture would be one part acid to every three parts of oil. However, if you are using balsamic vinegar, orange juice, or an acid component that is sweet, you can have a good mixture at one part acid to every two parts of oil.

But that’s not all, the versatile vinaigrette can also be used to marinate meat, poultry or fish. In this case, you should decrease the amount of oil, so that you have two parts acid to one part oil, or even, one part acid to one part oil. Remember, you should not recycle the vinaigrette used for marinating and use it as a sauce for cooked food. Always make a fresh batch or bring the used marinade to a boil, at the very least. This is to avoid contamination from bacteria found in raw food.

What’s good about a vinaigrette is that preparation is very flexible. You can tweak the taste by adding a little more vinegar or oil as you go along. Vinaigrette also keeps well. If you end up making more than what you can actually eat, all you need to do is store it in a tightly closed container and put it in the refrigerator, where it can last for weeks or even months.

One thing you have to also make sure is that the vinegar and oil are properly blended together. Sometimes you need to put the mixture in a jar and shake it or beat the mixture vigorously. A small amount of prepared mustard beaten into the vinegar before the oil is added can help in the emulsification.

You can also add spices, grated minced herbs, diced fruits, crumbled cheese and other ingredients to add more flavor to your basic vinaigrette recipe.

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