Vinaigrette salad dressings–a culinary staple.

In its most basic form, vinaigrette salad dressing is nothing more than 3 parts extra-virgin olive oil to 1 part vinegar well shaken or whisked, spead on lettuce or freshly steamed vegetables, and tossed.  The simplest variation of this basic combination is to change the variety of vinegar.  Red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, champagne vinegar, raspberry vingegar, and so on all add  a slightly different flavor to the dressing.

At the October Country Inn, we often get recepie requests for our red wine vinaigrette which we use with our French Country dinners.  This vinaigrette is a simple combination of 3 ounces of EVO, 1 ounce of red wine vinegar, 3/4 teaspoons of salt, 1 clove of minced garlic and a pinch of ground black pepper.

Add a few more ingredients to the above EVO/red wine vinegar mix; 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, 2 colves of minced garlic, and 1 tablespoon of cold water; yields a garlic vinaigrette that we use with our Italian Country dinners.

For Mexican dinners, we spice it up with cilantro jalapeno dressing.  Place 1/4 cup of fresh packed cilantro leaves, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 ounce of white wine vinegar, and a couple of fresh or pickled seeded diced jalapenos in a food processor.  While mixing, drizzle in 3 ounces of EVO.

For our Greek salad dressing take the standard vinaigrette mix of 3 ounces of EVO and 1 ounce of red wine vinegar; add 3/4 teaspoon of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of fresh minced oregano, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 pressed garlic clove and a pinch of ground black pepper; and whisk it all together.

Sometimes we want a more substantial dressing than a vinaigrette.  For this occasion we use a creamy dressing, such as the following creamy dill dressing.  To make this creamy dressing, in a mixer, combine and mix well:

  • 1/2 cup EVO
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar with tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon dill
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese