When I posted about the Auction Dinner in November, I mentioned making my favorite vinaigrette for the salad. I got so many requests for the recipe, I thought I should go ahead and share it with you. Many people do not know how to make a basic vinaigrette. This is really something that is great to learn because homemade vinaigrettes are so delicious and fresh tasting and far superior to anything you can buy in a bottle. You can also use them to dress vegetables, not just salads.
This method starts out by grinding a garlic clove and anchovy with some coarse salt into a paste. Don't be afraid of the anchovy - it gives a depth of flavor you won't get otherwise but even anchovy haters won't realize what they are eating. I like to make mine in a mortar and pestle because it grinds everything into a nice paste, but if you don't have one you can use a small bowl and the back of a spoon. It will be more difficult and you will have to mince or grate the garlic first into your bowl.
There's a lot of creative versions you can make out of a basic vinaigrette. You can add herbs to it or experiment with different flavored oils. I got some great flavored oils last year out in Park City, Utah at Mountain Town Olive Oil. They sure come in handy. I also bought some different flavored vinegars out there, too. It's an easy way to change up your vinaigrettes.
for a printable version, click here
this amount of dressing is enough for a couple of large salads
I like to make my vinaigrette with an equal amount of oil and vinegar. You can experiment to see how you like your dressing to taste.
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 anchovy fillet
- 1/8 teaspoon coarse kosher salt or sea salt
- a few grinding of black pepper
- 1 tablespoon vinegar - you can use balsamic or red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
In the bowl of a mortar and pestle, grind the garlic clove, anchovy and salt together. (If you don't have a mortar and pestle, you can do this in a small bowl with the back of a spoon. Be sure to either mince or grate your garlic first so the spoon can mash it.) Grind the ingredients until you have a smooth paste. Add the pepper and vinegar and grind some more. Add the oil and blend some more until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Remember when you dress your salad greens, to do so lightly. A little dressing goes a long way.