Friday, May 25, 2007

Lynne's Classic Vinaigrette Dressing

Yet another recipe from I love the simplicity of this and it is so much better to have fresh home made dressing over bottled. The flavor of the oil in bottled dressing always tastes drab to me. Mr. K has the amazing ability to whip up a batch of zesty vinaigrette in a few minutes, but sometimes it's hard to corral him into doing it... This is a very nice substitute.

Copyright 2002, Lynne Rossetto Kasper

Makes about 2 cups and keeps for a week in the refrigerator.

This is the true Italian or French dressing. It's so basic, it's scary. But trust me, when made with good-tasting vinegar and oil this is a star.

Get a pint jar (2 cups) with a screw top. You're making this by taste, not by exact measurement so the quantities are approximations.

1/2 cup good tasting vinegar (ie a blend of rice vinegar and balsamic, or cider, wine or sherry vinegar)
1/2 cup good tasting extra-virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine in the jar, shake, taste and then add more oil or vinegar to balance. Store in the refrigerator up to 1 week. Use at room temperature, shaking to blend. Remember a little goes a long way, so always start with a couple of tablespoons.

Variations. The key to each of these is tasting as you blend.

Herbs and Garlic: Each time you use the dressing, you could add herbs to the salad, or rub the bowl with garlic before adding the greens.

Dijon Dressing: Put about 1/2 cup of the dressing in bottom of salad bowl, add generous tablespoon Dijon mustard, some fresh tarragon and 1 shallot, minced. Blend, add greens and toss

Honey Mustard Dressing: Add to Dijon Dressing, brown sugar or honey to taste. Also a tablespoon of mayonnaise makes it creamy.

French Bleu Cheese Dressing: Take a little basic vinaigrette, blend in bleu cheese and garlic to taste.

Creamy Bleu Cheese: Add sour cream, mayonnaise and minced onion to bleu cheese dressing.

Ranch Dressing: Mix in salad bowl blend into some basic dressing minced garlic, chopped parsley, chopped scallions, and chopped basil with equal amounts of mayonnaise and buttermilk.

This recipe was featured on MPR's Tuesday Night Kitchen, a weekday online-only food program from The Splendid Table.

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