January 12, 2010

Salads with Vinaigrette

Basic Vinaigrette


  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • Mixed salad greens, about 4 cups
  1. Add sweet, toasted almonds and mandarin orange slices.
  2. Add Cucumber, grape tomatoes, slivered red onion, and shaved asiago or Parmesan cheese.
  3. Add sliced avocado, slivered red onion, grape tomatoes (sliced in half) and feta cheese.


In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, garlic, vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. While whisking, slowly add the olive oil until the vinaigrette is emulsified.
Place the salad greens in a medium bowl and add enough dressing to moisten. Sprinkle with a little extra salt and pepper, if desired, and serve immediately. 

Spicy Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette

 1 half of a jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/3 cup canola oil 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
pinch of cayenne 
3 Tbsp. water
3 Tbsp. agave nectar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Combine jalapeno, garlic, vinegar, lime juice, water, agave and salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth.
2. With the motor running, slowly add the oil until emulsified. 
3. Add the cilantro, blend 5 seconds longer 4. Run through a sieve for added smoothness. 5. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Passion fruit Vinaigrette
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh passion fruit pulp or passion fruit puree
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1 Thai red chile, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil
  1. In a small saucepan, boil the orange juice over high heat until it reduces to 2 tablespoons, about 12 minutes.
  2. Pour the reduced orange juice into a small bowl and let cool. Stir in the lime juice, passion fruit pulp, shallot, chile, ginger and honey.
  3. Whisk in the olive oil until emulsified and season with salt and pepper. Mix in the chives and basil.

True balsamic vinegar is made from a reduction of pressed Trebbiano and Lambrusco grapes. The resulting thick syrup, called mosto cotto in Italian, is subsequently aged for a minimum of 12 years in a battery of seven barrels of successively smaller sizes. The casks are made of different woods like chestnut, acacia, cherry, oak, mulberry, ash, and, in the past, juniper. True balsamic vinegar is rich, glossy, deep brown in color and has a complex flavor that balances the natural sweet and sour elements of the cooked grape juice with hints of wood from the casks.

  • 1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/3 cup Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup Agave nectar  
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
Whisk ingredients until combined. 

Vinaigrette II
  • 1 cup Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Salad greens
  • Assortment of salad ingredients (see below)

  1. Sliced seedless cucumbers, red onion with asiago cheese and grape tomatoes
  2. Walnuts with blue cheese
  3. Frisee and bacon with poached egg on top

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