There is nothing like a classic French vinaigrette to dress up a simple tossed green salad. Anyone who’s ever eaten at a French bistro can appreciate the way a properly executed dressing can elevate a salad. The beauty of vinaigrette lies in its simplicity.
We all know things that seem easiest are often the most difficult to master. I suppose that is why many people resort to mediocre bottled dressings.
They’re making a huge mistake, though. Vinaigrette takes about as long to make as it takes you to find that bottled dressing in the fridge, and it is so much tastier. Plus, when you make your own vinaigrette you control what goes into it.
The fun part is that once you’ve mastered the basics of vinaigrette, you can start playing with flavors. By altering the seasoning, the vinegar, and the oil, you can create endless new flavors for your salads. Delicious vinaigrettes will undoubtedly help your family eat more fresh, nutritious produce.
I know. It’s obvious. Whatever you cook will taste better if you use better ingredients. However, the most obvious things tend to be those we conveniently forget when we’re at the supermarket and blown off our feet by a 100 Rand bottle of vinegar.
Well, if you do the math, you will realize that the bottle of vinegar is probably not such a bad deal compared with those bottled dressings you’ve been buying. More importantly — and I struggled with this for years — the quality of your vinegar will determine whether your vinaigrette is ethereal or awful.
Why? Well, it’s simple really. Low quality vinegars tend to be overly acidic and unbalanced. If you think about how you choose wine — which is what vinegar is made from, after all — you will understand why the quality of the vinegar is critical. So, whatever you do, do not scrimp on your vinegar.
Just remember, the simpler the recipe, the more critical the quality of each ingredient becomes to its success. If you remember this one simple rule, you will already be well on your way to star quality vinaigrette.