French Vinaigrette

French VinaigretteHow to Make French Vinaigrette

French vinaigrette

Makes about 1/4 cup (60 ml), enough for one large green salad

Aside from not using balsamic vinegar in salad dressings, another astuce is to use freshly-ground black pepper, which is best added when tossing the salad with the dressing.

1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon sherry or red wine vinegar
1/2 small shallot, peeled and minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3T to 4T (45 ml to 60 ml) olive oil
fresh herbs, if desired

1. In a small bowl, mix together the salt, vinegar, and shallot. Let stand for about ten minutes.

2. Mix in the Dijon mustard, then add 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of olive oil. Stir well, then taste. If too sharp, add the additional olive oil and more salt, if necessary. Romain said one needs to add beaucoup de mustard, so feel free to add more as well.

If you wish to add fresh herbs, it’s best to chop and mix them in shortly before serving so they retain their flavor.

Storage: This dressing will keep for about eight hours at room temperature. If you want to make it farther in advance, it’s best to add the shallots closer to serving so they don’t lose their verve.

Cook’s Illustrated: Sauces

How do you make a vinaigrette that tastes great but won’t separate? The key is in the emulsifier. Discover why emulsifiers—like mustard, mayonnaise, and egg yolk—hold oil and vinegar together, and learn how to make a foolproof dressing.

Julia Child’s VinaigretteBasic Vinaigrette Dressing
From Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom, by Julia Child

This is a bare-bones recipe for the simple all-purpose vinaigrette, which you will vary as you wish. Its beauty lies solely in the quality of your ingredients. Note that you will so often see proportions of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil, but that can make a very acid, very vinegary vinaigrette. I use the proportions of a very dry martini, since you can always add more vinegar or lemon but you can’t take it out.

Ingredients:

1/2 Tbsp finely minced shallot or scallion
1/2 Tbsp Dijon-type mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 Tbsp wine vinegar
1/3 to 1/2 cup excellent olive oil, or other fine, fresh oil
Freshly ground pepper

Instructions:

Either shake all the ingredients together in a screw-topped jar, or mix them individually as follows. Stir the shallots or scallions together with the mustard and salt. Whisk in the lemon juice and vinegar, and when well blended start whisking in the oil by droplets to form a smooth emulsion. Beat in freshly ground pepper. Taste (dip a piece of the salad greens into the sauce) and correct seasoning with salt, pepper, and/or drops of lemon juice.

Yield: For about 2/3 cup, serving 6 to 8

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One thought on “French Vinaigrette

  1. Pingback: February: France | C I N E C H E F S

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