The Proper Way to Make a Vinaigrette

One of the most popular questions I get from people is, “How on earth do I make a vinaigrette?”  Let me be the first to tell you it’s as easy as a walk in the park and heck if Paul Newman can do it so can you :-).  Vinaigrettes are used to not only compliment salad greens, but can also be used as sauces for an entree.  It can be cold, hot, colorful, broken, salty, sweet, ok you get the idea.  Vinaigrettes can also be simple or complex, but none the less it starts with really one basic measurement and that is 1 part vinegar to 3 part oil.  Now this is just a basic rule of thumb, because I am not going to lie I sometimes use more vinegar because I enjoy the flavor of it.  So what else is involved?

You also need to understand one thing, vinegar does not like oil.. At all.  In fact it is like being a boy at the mall with your mom when you are 14 years old… Hate!  So what you have to do is create a mediator, like a store you can run in and leave your mom behind.  In this case, mustard works very well and also adds a little flavor.  So if you are having trouble emulsifying your vinaigrette, don’t worry you are not a bad whisker its that you need something to help bind the two together. Ok, so you have the basics down, now it depends on what ingredients you want to use.  You can use citrus over vinegar, fresh herbs, honey, different types of oils, you can puree fresh produce in to make it thick, add bacon to it, heat it up, I mean honestly you are only limited to your creativity.  So when you are struggling to think of a sauce or perhaps are second guessing your salad dressing, turn to the good old classic vinaigrette, made your way!

Chef Billy Parisi

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