Not So Basic Vinaigrette
I first learned how to make a real French vinaigrette when I was eighteen years old and living with a very generous chef in Paris. It was actually his twelve-year-old daughter who taught me. The first thing she did was separate two eggs and put the yolks in a bowl; these were followed by Dijon mustard, then vinegar, then olive oil--fat (egg yolk) followed by fat (olive oil). It’s the Dijon-sherry vinegar combo that really makes this dressing--and those are both fat-free. A shallot I puree provides the thick texture you normally get from creating an egg yolk/olive oil emulsion. Use this to dress salads and cooked veqetables--both hot and cold.
Total Timeunder 15 minutes
Make Ahead RecipeYes
Taste and Texturecreamy, herby, tangy, tart
Type of Dishdressing
- 4 small shallots
- 5 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1½ tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped fine
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Roughly chop 2 of the shallots. Place the chopped shallots and the water in a microwave-safe bowl, cover it tightly, and microwave on high until the shallots are tender, about 5 minutes.
Pour the cooked shallots and cooking water into a blender. Add the mustard, vinegar, and lemon juice. Blend until the mixture is very smooth; pour into a bowl. Chop the remaining 2 shallots very fine; add them to the bowl. Add the parsley and olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper. Gently whisk the mixture to make a broken vinaigrette (one that is intentionally not emulsified).
Serve immediately, or store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature and whisk gently before using.
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