Saturday, May 24, 2014

Kitchen Intuition: Vinaigrette is not just for salads

If you shop at the farmers market, a lot of food you bring home will shine brightest if you do very little to it. A splash of a simple, homemade vinaigrette will enhance the flavors of your fresh vegetables without their getting lost under a blob of some smothering ranch dressing. And if you are trying to economize in the kitchen, you can save a lot of money by making your own vinaigrette. (Ken Albala calls bottled salad dressing "one of the worst wastes of your money ever invented. It’s largely composed of water, cheap oils and emulsifiers.") A good vinaigrette can serve as a dressing for your raw vegetables; a sauce for roasted vegetables, meats or fish; a marinade; or (if you thicken it a bit) a dip for snacks.
The formula is simple. The three basic elements are fat, acid and flavor. Put them in a jar and shake, use a mixer or food processor to blend, or combine everything but the fat before drizzling it in with a whisk. That’s it. It really is that easy.

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