As a rule, I only dress salad greens and vegetables with extra-virgin olive oil, a splash of vinegar or lemon juice, a sprinkling of sea salt and a few grinds of black pepper. However, there are times when a vinaigrette is in order.
Oil and water don’t mix, so the proverb goes, and something you probably learned from either grade school science class or your first attempt at making an oil and vinegar dressing. Vinegar, a water-base acid, and olive oil don’t play nice together. To coexist, they require a third party to keep them together on the playground (at least until recess is over). An emulsifier is the answer. This agent combines liquids that don’t normally hang out with each other, such as, oil and vinegar. Not only will this emulsifier bring stability to the relationship, forming a bond (literally a chemical bond), it can also contribute a flavor of it’s own. Mustard, mayonnaise, cornstarch and egg yolk are all examples of emulsifiers. This vinaigrette can be used to dress a variety of vegetables, greens and pasta salads.
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice, fresh squeezed
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (delicate)
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, lemon juice and mustard. Slowly, whisk in the olive oil until the ingredients are playing nice (thoroughly mixed).
- Season with salt and pepper to your taste.