Kathy’s ‘Go To’ Basic Vinaigrette
Most cooks and probably all chefs have a ‘go to’ dressing that they use as a signature for dressing various salads. So many people are addicted to the commercial bottled dressings they are totally wowed by the uniqueness of your own dressing. Nothing could be simpler and the vast array of bottles for serving make the whole process even more fun! I have modified this recipe for years. The original came from a weekend at The Inn at El Cannelo where chef/owner Monica Burdette served a salad of simple curly lettuce that had us raving over the salad. Her sharing of the secret of the vinaigrette and my curiosity of the ‘art of creating dressing’ began a delicious journey into all kinds of sauces and dressings.
Linda Dannenberg’s “Perfect Vinaigrettes” is my dressing bible and I recommend buying it and using it frequently. Her recipe for eggless caesar dressing is another favorite that is well recieved by all! The only caution I would add is beware, once you start making your own versions, the bottled stuff in your frig will probably be expired when you try to use it next!!
As with all things ‘foodie’, the freshest ingredients yield the tastiest product and lead to rave reviews by your family and friends. I add this caution of assumption(not everyone will know the brands you use); a friend loved this dressing and asked for the recipe years ago. Several days later when I ask how it had turned out, she made a face. Apparantly she had used French’s yellow mustard as a substute for the whole ground mustard and it wasn’t quite the same!! Imagine that!
Favorite Basic Vinaigrette
1/3 c. rice wine vinegar
salt and pepper (I use fine grind sea salt and fresh ground three peppercorn blend)
2/3 c. olive oil (I usually use Bertolli extra light virgin)
1 tsp. fresh finely diced garlic
2-3 tsp. honey (depends on your sweetness zone and how spicey the mustard you use) I use an orange honey that makes a definite essential flavor profile
1 tsp grainy mustard (ground whole mustard is my preference, but dijon can make a different dressing)
Whisk all ingredients together and chill. This recipe may be doubled, or quadrupled! It’s that good and stores in the frig for weeks (if it lasts that long!)