Favorite simple vinaigrette?
I know that there are a few old threads on this topic but I thought I'd start an updated version. I have a new obsession with spinach and grape tomatoes which has led to a nearly daily craving for spinach salads. In fact, this craving encouraged me to finally dive into homemade vinaigrette as I love love vinegar. I have experimented with Sherry, Balsamic, and Red Wine with other various mix-ins including salt, pepper, Italian herbs and roasted garlic. However, I'd love some simple other ideas. Any favorites?
Olive oil, balsamic, and a half-tsp of dijon mustard is our go-to, but what really makes it plate-lickable is a wee dash of roasted walnut oil. A little S&P is nice, but not even necessary if you have the dijon.
I LOVE this store: http://www.beyondtheolive.com - it's local for us, so wandering around tasting oils and vinegars can take up an afternoon, but they're champagne vinegar, fig balsamic, and blackberry balsamic are so good that we've dressed salads with just the syrupy vinegar and no oil at all. We even tell my two-year old it's syrup, pour it on a little too thick, and he'll eat salad like a rabbit. =)
I used to only be able to get it at specialty stores, but I've now seen it everywhere, including Whole Foods, Ralph's, maybe even Trader Joe's and Costco... It tastes just like toasted walnuts by itself, but when you add it to the dressing it lends an undefinable sweetness and nuttiness that is really just lovely.
Another similar favorite: rice vinegar and toasted sesame oil for a more Asian version, though I haven't found the main oil I like in it as well (we usually use olive or peanut) and it needs an Asian mustard...haven't perfected it yet, but it's in the rotation when I want to use soy, etc. on my main.
OK, now I thank you for this recommendation. I tried the walnut oil before and wasn't too wowed and then realized I bought refined and realized that's probably why. I love salads and needed some new ideas so spent the extra on another bottle of toasted walnut oil and....wow, this stuff is good!!!
Good topic! I am playing with jam.....
I love the simple daily balsamic vinaigrette, but lately I have been mixing in a shy teaspoon of jam (raspberry or orange marmalade is nice) for a change. Goes really well with some nuts in the salad and some soft cheese. Sugar free jam is perfect for this.
Experimenting with the jam concept is fun with Asian inspired vinaigrette a too. I make alot of daily, simple Viet and Thai foods so I make salads that are some kind of riff on generic Asian flavors. Like rice vinegar and oil, ginger and orange marmalade,etc.
I'm always partial to lemon vinaigrette. EVOO, lemon, dijon (I like Maille), s/p. I like a 2:2 ratio for oil to acid...or a little heavier on the acid side.
I use this basic recipe for any kind of vinaigrette just switching up the acid. I think a teaspoon or so of honey rounds out the acidity, but not necessary. Sometimes I'll add herbs, I prefer dry herbs for vinaigrette.
This is a great honey mustard vinaigrette recipe I found on tammyrecipes.com
1/2 cup olive oil or flax seed oil
3 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup prepared mustard (Dijon or other*)
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
dash of black pepper
I always have a jar of homemade vinaigrette in my fridge. Enjoy your spinach salads!