Vinaigrettes

Vinaigrettes

By
From
A Year In My Kitchen

Because I serve so much food at room temperature, I often use vinaigrettes. Cooked and left to cool to a temperate degree is often the best way to appreciate the complex, natural flavours of many vegetables, fish and meat. Indeed, my favourite way to start a meal is with a salade composé – a composition of different seasonal produce brought together with a simple vinaigrette. I vary vinaigrettes according to the season and the food I am dressing. In summer, I tend to use a simple dressing – perhaps a spoonful of basil oil, a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and sprinkling of lemon zest. During the colder months, a dressing with a little more depth and heart is called for and I love to use different nut oils, gently warming them through first. Where I have used specific vinaigrettes, I have listed the ingredients in the individual recipes. This is a simple, versatile vinaigrette and you can use a different vinegar and/or oil as you like, to alter its character.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
sea salt
freshly ground black peppera
200ml extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced

Method

  1. Put the mustard and sherry vinegar into a bowl and add a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Stand the bowl on a cloth to keep it steady, then gradually whisk in the extra virgin olive oil to emulsify. Lastly squeeze in the lemon juice and whisk to combine. Check the seasoning and set aside until ready to use.
  2. If the vinaigrette separates before you are ready to use it, give it a vigorous whisk and it will re-emulsify.

Note

  • It is important to understand that when flavours are put together, they need a little time to become acquainted. This certainly applies to sauces, mayonnaises and vinaigrettes. So, wait about 10 minutes before tasting and adjusting the seasoning. Once the ingredients have married, you may find that you need something quite different from what you first suspected, or indeed nothing at all.
Tags:
seasonal
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