A vinaigrette and French dressing are one in the same and very easy to prepare. All you need is oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. The secret is to make sure the ingredients are top quality. Extra virgin olive oil with red wine vinegar or nut oils and balsamic or sherry vinegars. You can even use flavored vinegar with canola, corn or safflower oils. Before using this dressing, always whisk together the oil and vinegar as they do tend to separate almost immediately.
Combine these ingredients, using an oil and vinegar that complement one another and the foods that will be used…
• 2 tablespoons wine vinegar
• 6 tablespoons olive oil
• Fine sea salt and pepper freshly ground to taste
The olive oil should be whisked in the vinegar and seasonings combination. The finished dressing should be allowed to stand in place a few hours before using so that the numerous flavors can blend together. Before use, stir the dressing.
A variation to create Dijon vinaigrette is to add…
• 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
• 2 tablespoons vinegar
• 6 tablespoons olive oil
• Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
If you prefer herbed vinaigrette, simply add 1 tablespoon fresh finely cut herbs or 1 teaspoon dried herbs. Herbs that can be used are basil, tarragon, thyme, marjoram, and/or chives to taste.
By using extra virgin olive oil, you will taste the rich flavor of the oil. If the ingredients are robust, than use an oil that doesn’t have much flavor, such as corn, canola and light olive oil. If a tomato salad is being served, serve it with basil or rosemary infused oil. When preparing a vinaigrette with walnut oil, a salad prepared with green beans will taste so much better.
An easily prepared salad includes…
• Washing the salad greens and drying them in a salad spinner. Wet greens will not allow the dressing to cling to them. Storing wet greens will make them spoil faster.
• Red and white wine vinegars can be used on almost any salad. For milder flavors, use rice or champagne vinegar.
Before serving your salad creation, toss the salad with the applied dressing just before serving. The dressing flavors will evenly distribute throughout the salad. It is a good idea not to toss a salad with the dressing applied, since the greens will wilt in a matter of minutes.
It is so simple to grow your own greens to use in your salad and makes sense given how expensive vegetables have become. You also are guaranteed a healthy meal when picked fresh from the garden and prepared almost immediately. Also, you will be able to taste test your personal combinations and prepare your dressing accordingly.
An entire meal can be prepared around the tossed salad you will be serving. Depending on your preference, you can readily create a French dressing or vinaigrette that is either mild or robust in flavor. This dressing will definitely be a compliment to the various greens that has been mixed together in your salad bowl, allowing a colorful display that is lightly bathed in a delightful tasting combination of your chosen oil and vinegar.
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