No-Sweat Vinaigrette

Vinaigrette seems to inspire fear in many home cooks, with the whole slowly-whisking-in-oil- drop-by-drop thing. I say throw caution to the wind and, small victory, just throw everything into a clean jar and shake with abandon. Then you can leave the vinaigrette in the jar and pull it out anytime you need to dress a little green salad or a platter of roasted vegetables or pep up a roasted chicken... The list of uses for vinaigrette is endless. Even better than a clean jar, and major small victory, is a jar of mustard that you’ve scraped just about clean but there’s still some clinging to the sides that your sandwich knife just can’t seem to reach. Make the dressing in that jar, and win-win: Salad dressing, plus you kept something useful from ending up in the recycling bin.

no-sweat-vinaigrette
Photo by Gentl + Hyers
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  • Makes ¾ cup
Vinaigrette seems to inspire fear in many home cooks, with the whole slowly-whisking-in-oil- drop-by-drop thing. I say throw caution to the wind and, small victory, just throw everything into a clean jar and shake with abandon. Then you can leave the vinaigrette in the jar and pull it out anytime you need to dress a little green salad or a platter of roasted vegetables or pep up a roasted chicken... The list of uses for vinaigrette is endless. Even better than a clean jar, and major small victory, is a jar of mustard that you’ve scraped just about clean but there’s still some clinging to the sides that your sandwich knife just can’t seem to reach. Make the dressing in that jar, and win-win: Salad dressing, plus you kept something useful from ending up in the recycling bin.

Ingredients

  1. Check 1 just-about-empty jar of Dijon mustard or 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  2. Check 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  3. Check ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  4. Check 1 teaspoon honey
  5. Check 1 garlic clove, minced
  6. Check Kosher salt
  7. Check Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Open the lid to the mustard jar (or use a clean jar and add the 2 tsp mustard to it) and add the vinegar, olive oil, honey, garlic, ½ tsp salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Screw on the top and shake vigorously to combine. Season to taste with salt.
  2. Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week (bring to room temperature before using, as oil tends to solidify when refrigerated).


Spin-Offs: 

For a Slightly Greek Dressing: substitute red wine vinegar for the sherry vinegar and add 1 tsp dried oregano.

For a More French Dressing: substitute white wine vinegar for the sherry vinegar and add a minced shallot and a tiny bit  of dried herbes de Provence or minced fresh thyme and/or tarragon.

For Seeded Mustard Dressing: simply add a spoonful of seeded mustard along with the Dijon.

For a Really ’80s Dressing: substitute balsamic vinegar for the sherry vinegar.

Reprinted with permission from Small Victories by Julia Turshen, photographs by Gentl + Hyers, Chronicle Books 2016.