How to Make Your Own Vinaigrette:
• Vinaigrettes are a combination of oil and an acidic liquid, such as vinegar or citrus juice, with herbs and spices for flavor.
• Often they include an emulsifier (an ingredient that combines substances that normally do not mix) such as mustard, to help prevent the oil and acid from separating.
• The traditional ratio is 3 to 4 parts oil to 1 part vinegar – for example: ¾ cup oil and ¼ cup vinegar or citrus juice.
• The touch of honey also produces a little thicker consistency to help the dressing cling to the salad.
• Use extra virgin olive oil (purest and most intensely flavored), assorted vinegars (balsamic, red wine, rice wine), or citrus juice (fresh-squeezed lemon, lime or orange juice).
• Try different herb and spice blends for a variety of delicious flavors: Italian seasoning, lemon pepper, various Mrs. Dash blends or other herbs and spices of your choice.
• Recommended ratio – You need about one tablespoon vinaigrette for 2 cups salad greens. Remember to add the vinaigrette gradually, toss and taste. You can always add more dressing if you like.
This spring, keep an open mind and be willing to try new, fresh foods. Below is a delicious spring salad recipe, complete with a simple vinaigrette.
Spring Chicken Salad with Fresh Lemon Vinaigrette
1 (12 oz) pkg mixed green salad blend (or 9-10 cups blend of fresh greens: spinach, romaine, arugula, radicchio, frisée, Swiss chard, mizuna, and/or oak leaf lettuces)
1 cucumber, seeded and sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
Zest of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 garlic clove, minced
Ground black pepper, to taste
1. In a large bowl, toss together mixed greens, cucumber, tomatoes, and chicken.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon zest and juice, oil, basil, garlic, and pepper.
3. Pour over salad and toss well. (Tip: put greens and vinaigrette into a container with a tight-fitting lid. Close the lid and shake container to toss salad with dressing)
Recipe source: Muffie Kruse