Thursday, November 4, 2010
Simple Honey Vinaigrette
Looking for an easy way to dress up salad? I know I always am. I get bored having the same salad dressing night after night, as well as having to check expiration dates on bottles in my fridge. Sometimes I get home, hoping to have a salad, only to discover there's no ready made dressing available. And that's where today's recipe comes in handy!
Salad dressing can be incredibly easy to make. The most basic salad dressing has only two ingredients--vinegar and oil. The perfect dressing will have the right balance between sweet and tangy. There will always be an oil or fat and a vinegar element; emulsifiers, such as egg yolk or mustard, help the vinegar and oil stay blended.
A good trick when zesting is to lay the lemon (or whatever you're zesting) flat. Then run the microplane or grater over it--rather than the other way around. This way, the zest gets caught in the high sides of the zester, and there's less risk of you slipping and zesting your hand. And you can use a lighter touch this way, avoiding the risk of zesting up the bitter pith.
You could use any light-colored vinegar in your pantry--white balsamic, apple cider, red wine--whatever you like.
I marinated some chicken in the vinaigrette mixture and then served it over a salad with the same vinaigrette. I really enjoyed it--it hit all the right notes of sweet, sour, and tangy, and it gave a really nice flavor to the chicken as well. Try it on your next salad!
Recipe: Simple Honey Vinaigrette
1/2 shallot, finely minced
3 tbsp. dijon mustard
1/4 c. honey
Zest and juice from half a lemon
1/3 c. white wine vinegar
1/4 c. olive oil
1 tbsp. chopped parsley
Whisk all ingredients together, and then serve!