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How to Make Vinaigrette

August 2, 2012 Le Cordon Bleu Boston 0 Comments

How to Make Vinaigrette

While the name may sound French and exotic, actually making vinaigrette is an easy way to really improve your kitchen skills. The freshness of homemade vinaigrette is far superior when compared to even the best store-bought brands of salad dressing. Learning to make vinaigrette is a culinary school right of passage. It is something that good cooks simply must know how to do.

At its simplest vinaigrette is an emulsion of vinegar and oil, usually three parts oil to one part vinegar. What else you do with it is up to you. Even a more complicated recipe only involves four components:

  • Oil
  • Vinegar
  • Flavorings
  • Seasonings

And as long as you maintain that 3 to 1 ratio of oil to vinegar, everything else is open for your interpretation. Common additional vinaigrette ingredients include honey, mustard, shallots, green onions, fresh herbs, garlic, wine, fruit, fruit juices, and just about anything you can dream up. The creative possibilities are limitless.

Upping the Freshness Ante
If you emphasize fresh, local ingredients in your cooking, you can enhance that freshness with homemade vinaigrettes, especially when you include fresh herbs. Some of the best include rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano, and parsley. The beauty of cooking in Massachusetts is that summertime brings a bounty of fresh produce and herbs from the state’s fertile farmlands. Your local farmer’s market will provide everything you need.

You can use dry herbs in the winter months, but when spring and summer roll around, fresh is the only way to go. A simple mixed green salad topped with a splash of fresh herb vinaigrette is wonderful light meal or delicious starter course.

Mastering the art of vinaigrettes will build confidence and garner compliments for your kitchen skills.

Mustard Vinaigrette Recipe
This simple recipe will have your salads tasting like they are from a fine French kitchen.

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • Pinch of kosher salt to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Preparation:

  • Combine mustard and vinegar in a glass bowl and whisk together
  • Pour mixture into a blender and blend on low setting
  • Slowly drizzle in olive oil until fully combined
  • Add seasonings and pulse once or twice to incorporate

This article is presented by Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Boston. Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Boston offers culinary arts and pâtisserie and baking training programs in the Boston, Massachusetts area. To learn more about the class offerings, please visit Chefs.edu/Boston for more information. 

Find disclosures on graduation rates, student financial obligations and more at www.chefs.edu/disclosures.  
Le Cordon Bleu® and the Le Cordon Bleu logo are registered trademarks of Career Education Corporation. Le Cordon Bleu cannot guarantee employment or salary. Credits earned are unlikely to transfer.

Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Inc., a Private, Two-Year College

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