A vinaigrette is the most classic of dressings. Often known more commonly as French dressing, the basic dressing starts out as vinegar, oil and salt; which is really all it takes to bring a crisp lettuce, or simple salad, to life. It is worth remembering, however, that something so simple requires the very best ingredients to make it shine, so make sure you buy the highest quality vinegar and oil you can find.
It is also just as easy to put all the ingredients into an empty jam jar and give it a good shake, and you can adjust the quantities accordingly as long as the ratio remains 3 parts oil to one part vinegar. To make a vinaigrette that stays emulsified for longer, blitz in an upright blender.
There are many flavours that can be added to enhance the flavour of a vinaigrette, the most common being mustard. Any type of mustard can be used, and its inclusion also helps the dressing remain emulsified, and therefore thicker, for longer. Other additions could include minced garlic, shallots or chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, dill, tarragon or chives. You could also substitute the white wine vinegar for sherry, cider or balsamic vinegars. Different oils could also be used from extra virgin olive oil or rapeseed, to something a little more unusual, such as hazelnut or avocado oil.
The obvious accompaniment for green salads, vinaigrettes also work well with many vegetables. Try using it to dress artichokes or asparagus, or even for a cold pasta salad with a mix of roasted vegetables.
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