I started my new job at Business.com this week, and while I'm really enjoying it, I had very little time to cook other than what I had to do for the seders. And even less time to write about cooking. So here it is, the weekend, lots of time for both cooking and blogging, and I realized that nothing I made for dinner was worth photographing. A glitch in my planning.
And then I saw my ever-present jar of vinaigrette and realized I hadn't shared this simple joy with you yet. Everyone has his or her own way with salad dressing, and mine has carried me through many dishes: green salads, of course, but I also use this dressing on cooked vegetables (dress them when warm so they absorb the flavor better), to marinate chicken, and even sometimes on its own as a dip.
Every French head of household makes a dressing quite similar to this. Mix it up in an old jar, keep it in the refrigerator, and you'll never go back to the bottled stuff. All these measurements are approximate; it's really about the proportions. I like about one part acid to three parts oil, but use your own palate as a guide.
Classic French-inspired vinaigrette
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- juice of 3 lemons
- 1 tsp grated lemon zest (optional)
- 2 Tbsp light-colored vinegar (I prefer champagne, but white wine vinegar is fine too)
- 1 tsp salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/2 cups good olive oil
This dressing will keep for at least a month in the refrigerator. Let it warm up before you use it, as the oil will congeal when it's cold.