Thursday, March 13, 2014

Basic Verjus Vinaigrette

verjus vinaigrette salad dressing
The following is a very simple, mild vinaigrette dressing made with verjus, which is similar to vinegar but less sharply acidic and more wine-friendly, making it the acid of choice for chefs and good cooks who like to pair food with wine.

I call this a basic recipe because you can enhance and vary it with your choice of fresh or chopped herbs, perhaps a little Dijon or grainy mustard, and other such ingredients to create an array of differently-flavored salad dressings for greater variety of flavor. Of course, you can also simply enjoy this basic recipe as a classic light vinaigrette that will subtly complement the unique flavor profile of each salad ingredient rather than masking or overwhelming it. Because there are so few ingredients in this recipe, for best flavor don't skimp on their quality.

Verjus vinaigrette can be served with salad greens and other raw chilled salads as well as with steamed, sauteed or grilled vegetables, and it also doubles as a light marinade for fish, shellfish and poultry.

1/3 cup verjus
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove
1 Tbs chopped fresh parsley (or other herb or herbs of your choice)
1/2 tsp sea salt or Kosher salt
1/4 tsp coarsely ground pepper

I like to make this vinaigrette in a Mason jar or other wide-mouthed lidded jar that I can close tightly and shake to combine the ingredients. Alternatively, you can whisk everything together in a small bowl or a large measuring cup.

Use the flat side of a chef's knife or other large, sharp knife to crush or press the garlic clove on your cutting board so as to extract its juice, then finely mince the garlic and scrape the bits plus the juice into your jar or bowl. Add remaining ingredients, then close lid tightly and shake until combined or whisk together in a bowl. Store any leftover dressing in your refrigerator and use within a week or so.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

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