How to Make a Simple Vinaigrette Dressing
Here’s a simple recipe that makes a tasty fresh vinaigrette, it works with practically any oil and pretty much any vinegar, though red wine is a nice mellow vinegar. You can adjust the garlic or shallots to your taste, I usually use two cloves of garlic, which makes things spicy, but you definitely don’t want to go kissing anyone afterwards. One clove would probably be enough.
Another decadent variation is to substitute part, or all of the oil for fat from frying bacon, pancetta or other similar salted meat. Makes for a rich and smooth dressing and pairs well with spinach. You can crumble it into the salad afterward.
The main thing to remember is to smash your shallots, garlic or other alliums (which can include green onion, garlic scapes, and red or white onions) using the back of a wooden spoon or pestle and let them macerate, basically sit around, in the vinegar for at least ten minutes.
This will help to soften the bite and allow the vinegar to take on the flavor. Whip in your choice of oil, olive oil being most common, and you’re pretty much done. Salt and pepper to taste and toss.
- 1 clove garlic, or 1 Tbsp shallots
- Pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup red wine or champagne vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil or other oil
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 6 cups assorted greens
- 1 cup chopped nuts, walnuts, pine nuts, or pistachios (optional)
- 1 cup dried raisins, cranberries or other fruit (optional)
- Other vegetables, crumbled bacon or cheeses
- Finely mince garlic or shallots.
- Add them to a large, preferably wooden, bowl and smash to a past with a pinch of salt.
- Add vinegar and let sit for at least ten minutes while you cut and prep the greens.
- Using a whisk, add oil in a very thin stream whipping it into the vinegar mixture until emulsified.
- Mix in Dijon mustard.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Toss with greens and serve.