Monday, February 22, 2010

Honey Dijon Vinaigrette

I've never understood why people pay TONS of money for bottled vinaigrettes when it's so simple to make your own. Basically, I use 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil. Add some mustard and whatever extra flavorings you like, and there you have it. It's really just that simple and it's ready in minutes. This recipe is slightly different from Dina's Honey Dijon Vinaigrette, (which I absolutely LOVE), but it's always nice to have variations, don't you think?
I recently showed this recipe to Terri and Phil, and their son Nicholas was my little helper guy. I got such a kick out of the fact that it was time for bed and he wanted to keep cooking with Uncle Joey. How awesome is that? Who knows? Maybe some day he'll be a future chef! Hey, it could happen!
Thanx Nicholas!

1 heaping tbs Dijon mustard
1/4 cup vinegar (red wine, apple cider, or plain white)
1 tbs honey (or more to taste)
1 tsp kosher salt
lots of freshly cracked black pepper
3/4 cup oil

In medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients except the oil. SLOWLY add the oil in a steady thin stream while vigorously whisking constantly. (you can also use a mixer with a wire whisk attachment). Adjust the seasoning if needed*, then pour into an airtight container or salad dressing decanter. Store in the fridge.

*When you test to see if the seasoning is right, taste it on a piece of whatever it is you'll be serving. If you're making the dressing for a pasta salad, taste the dressing on a piece of cooked pasta. If it's a tossed green salad, taste it on a piece of lettuce. You'll get a better idea of whether or not to add more of anything.

I like to enjoy this dressing over a Chef's Salad, which is basically composed of different kinds of sliced or cubed meats and cheeses on a bed of lettuce. Sometimes I'll add a few slices of apple, which go nicely if you use apple cider vinegar in the dressing.

This is definitely a recipe that lends itself to experimentation. The components stay the same but there are countless combinations. All you need is any variety of mustard, an acid, a sweetener, and any variety of oil.

Try different flavored vinegars, such as raspberry, champagne, or white wine, etc.
Also try adding chopped fresh herbs such as basil, rosemary, or parsley.

For a citrus vinaigrette, use freshly squeezed lemon and/or lime juice instead of vinegar, and a tbs of orange marmalade instead of the honey.

If you're counting your carbs, substitute Splenda for the honey and choose a vinegar with zero carbs.

1 comment:

Nicholas said...

"I helped make pancakes yesterday...I'm a cookin' man, Uncle Joey!"