Four Quick Vinaigrettes

Because vinaigrette is so simple, it is important to start with good-quality ingredients such as extra-virgin olive oil and high-quality wine vinegar. For each recipe below, follow the Basic Vinaigrette recipe, altering ingredients as necessary to make the flavor variations. Each recipes makes about 3A cup.

Basic Vinaigrette: In a bowl or a jar with a tight-fitting lid. combine yh minced gariic clove or 1 small finely chopped shallot, 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, and Vz teaspoon each Dijon mustard and salt. Whisk or shake until salt dissolves. Add about W cup extra-virgin olive oil, drop by drop, to the bowl; as the ingredients begin to blend, add the oil in a steady trickle. If using a jar. add about Va teaspoon, shake vigorously, then add remaining oil and shake until blended. Add Vfe teaspoon ground black pepper to either the vinaigrette or the salad itself.

Creamy Vinaigrette: Replace red wine vinegar with V4 cup white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar. After adding oil. add Va cup heavy cream and 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs.

Citrus Vinaigrette: Add 1 teaspoon grated lemon and/or lime zest along with mustard. Replace vinegar with V«cup fresh lemon and/or lime juice.

Greek Vinaigrette: Replace red wine vinegar with lemon juice. Add Vi cup finely crumbled feta cheese and 3 tablespoons each chopped fresh mint and chopped kalamata olives.

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EGGLESS CAESAR DRESSING Mix together 1 crushed garlic clove, 2 finely chopped anchovy fillets, and 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard. Add 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, lVi teaspoons lemon juice, and 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce. In a slow, steady stream, whisk in Vz cup olive oil. Stir in 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese and lA teaspoon each salt and ground black pepper. Makes about JA cup.

HOT-PEPPER PEANUT VINAIGRETTE Mix together XA minced garlic clove, 2 finely chopped scallions, x/i teaspoon hot-pepper sauce, 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon each soy sauce and finely chopped fresh ginger, a pinch each ground cumin and ground coriander, and 2 tablespoons each peanut butter and vegetable oil. Makes about *A cup.

BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine x/i cup olive oil, XA cup balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 minced garlic clove, a pinch of ground red pepper, x/i teaspoon salt, and XA teaspoon ground black pepper. Seal and shake until mixed. Shake each time you use it. Makes V* cup.

HEAJIHY To reduce saturated fat In creamy dressings • Replace x/i cup of mayonnaise with half an avocado that has been pureed in a food processor or blender. This makes a delicious green dressing.

To replace oil in dressings • Substitute strong brewed tea for one-third of the oil in a standard vinaigrette. (The tea helps balance the acidity of the vinegar.) Or whisk in other liquids, such as broth, fruit juice, fruit nectars, fruit purees, vegetable juice, or vegetable purees. If using thin liquids such as fruit juice or broth, thicken the dressing with cornstarch, arrowroot, or gelatin so that it coats the greens better. To make a tomato-flavored vinaigrette with extra body, you can cut 1 fresh tomato in half and grate the halves on a hand grater into a bowl (the skins will be left behind). Use the fresh tomato pulp to replace about one-fourth of the oil. Another way to add body to a reduced-oil dressing is to puree it in a blender with lA cup well-cooked rice or a chunk of cooked potato.

BASIC LOW-FAT VINAIGRETTE In a small bowl or jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine XA cup chicken broth or apple juice, lA cup red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, and x/i teaspoon each honey and salt. Seal and shake until blended. Makes about 2A cup

FRESH FRUIT DRESSING In a blender or food processor, combine xh cup chopped fruit (strawberries, ripe pears, peaches, or other fruit), XA cup lemon yogurt, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and 1 teaspoon each honey and Dijon mustard. Puree until smooth. Use to drizzle on fruit salads or green salads. Makes about 'A cup

RASPBERRY-MERLOT DRESSING In a blender or food processor, combine 5 tablespoons olive oil, XA cup Merlot or fruity red wine, x/i pint fresh or frozen dry-packed raspberries, 1 sliced

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