Dipping Dish Gourmet

Dipping Dish Gourmet

Archive for March, 2009

Oil and Vinegar Vinaigrette

Monday, March 09th, 2009

Add Spice To A Salad Or Fish

There is no need to have the same “plain jane” meal on a daily basis. With the simple basics of olive oil, vinegar, sea salt and pepper, you can add zest to almost anything you prepare. The subtle taste of any dish is greatly enhanced with sprinkling of a vinaigrette dressing, prepared creatively to compliment a meal.

According to the French, “la sauce vinaigrette” can literally transform a salad bowl into something “extraordinaire.” Vinaigrette doesn’t have to be limited to the salad portion of a meal. You can sprinkle it on grilled fish, roasted chicken, seared steak or even wilted greens.

By using the standard three to one ratio, oil to vinegar, vinaigrette dressing is quite simple to prepare. The quality of the ingredients is important. You will want the best oil and vinegar as well as good quality sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. By using a whisk and a small bowl, the salt and pepper is first blended into the vinegar and then whisking these ingredients into the oil. There you have it – the basic vinaigrette dressing. Sprinkle it over a bed of salad greens and joy this mellow taste along with the main course meal.

When preparing classic vinaigrette, use red wine vinegar and olive oil. That will be your basis to add a host of other ingredients and create an almost endless array of vinaigrettes.

Preparing honey mustard vinaigrette requires replacing red wine vinegar with white wine vinegar. Whisk in one tablespoon of honey and Dijon mustard. Then add the olive oil. Most definitely a wonderful addition when preparing grilled steak or salmon. Your dinner companions will think you worked hours to achieve a perfect meal.

Using different herbs is also a wonderful, tasty way to prepare a basic vinaigrette dressing. Again replace the red wine vinegar with white balsamic vinegar and mix a few tablespoons of cilantro and basil. Then add the olive oil.

Vinaigrette dressing can be used with a winter squash in which you use…

• 2 acorn squash
• ½ teaspoon black pepper and 1 teaspoon salt
• 6 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 garlic clove
• 1 ½ tablespoon fresh lime juice
• 1 to 2 teaspoons finely chopped hot red chili with seeds included
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

You will need to preheat the oven to 450F. Cut the acorn squash in half lengthwise, scooping out the seeds. Then cut each half into ¾ inch wedges. Place the wedges in a bowl and sprinkle black pepper, ¾ teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons olive oil on them. Place the acorn wedges in a shallow baking pan and roast the squash, rotating the pan midway through the cooking cycle. When the two squash vegetables are tender, in about 25 to 35 minutes, you will want to drizzle them with a pre-prepared vinaigrette consisting of mashed minced garlic using ¼ teaspoon salt and whisking in lime juice, chili, cilantro and the remainder of the olive oil. Your winter squash has acquired a taste of its own. It can also be great for bread dipping with Gourmet Dipping Dishes.

[tag] vinaigrette dressing [/tag]

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