The first spring vegetables are starting to appear in our local farmers markets here in the Sacramento/ San Joaquin valley. That means fresh vegetables form California will start appearing at groceries all across the country over the next few weeks.
Fresh vegetables mean it's time to stark making Sauce Vinaigrette. Despite it's fancy name, sauce vinaigrette is nothing more than the most simple vinegar and oil salad dressing. Don't be fooled by this sauce's apparent simplicity. It is versatile and makes most ho-hum raw or cooked vegetable dishes into a celebration. I call this sauce vinaigrette because this is too good and versatile to be called salad dressing.
I had a salad of greens, cooked beat wedges, black beans, chick peas, a bit of minced red onion for lunch today. Of course, tossed it in vinaigrette that I had made yesterday.
Here's a before and after look:
Salad without vinaigrette
Salad tossed in vinaigrette.
To toss a salad, pour dressing into the bottom of a large bowl. Add the salad and toss gradually. The goal is to have every leaf coated in the dressing.
Vinaigrette makes a great dressing for coleslaw and bean salad. It's also nice on grilled fish.
The Recipe: Sauce Vinaigrette
Make your vinaigrette in a small jar, so you can shake it vigorously before using.
Start by adding all the ingredients except the oil in your small jar.
¼ cup vinegar or lemon juice*
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon prepared mustard
Less than ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
Place the lid on the jar and shake vigorously.
Add ¾ cup olive oil ¼ cup at a time.
Add each ¼ cup of oil and shake vigorously.
Store in the jar and refrigerate if you won't use the sauce in one week.
Allow the vinaigrette to warm to near room temperature and shake well before using.
I prefer either fresh frozen lemon juice or wine vinegar. I collect lemons every February and freeze the juice. If lemons aren't as plentiful where you live, I recommend wine vinegar.