The Bell Kitchen

Homemade Vinaigrette: “It’s Midnight, And We Are Still Talking About Salad Dressing”

Sauces | August 6, 2014 | By

“It’s the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter,” Marlene Dietrich once stated in a low hum. And I think she is right.
 
My best friend, the Austrian, recently just came ashore here in Prague during her month-long whirlwind adventure on the continent. It has been an absolute delight to reunite with my confidant over aperol spritz on warm patios to rehash the dizzying adventures from the last 10 years. Besides the recent angel food cake, I have to admit I haven’t spent all that much time in an apron this week. That said, it hasn’t stopped me or the Austrian to fall into long discussions on one of our favorite topics – food.
 
Years ago back in 2004 in Prague, the Austrian and I began our culinary path together by agreeing to host a joint Thanksgiving party for 8 people in my new (and then furniture-less) apartment. Albeit broke, we absolutely adored food, dinner parties, and friends. Daughter of a talented Swiss chef, the Austrian could talk circles around me when it came to the topic of stuffing alone; apple and sage stuffing, chorizo stuffing, chestnut and cranberry stuffing, and on and on. (That Thanksgiving we actually prepared 2 types of stuffing, which was served on my kitchen floor). Thanksgiving was a success that year, as the hours went on and the party well into the night; echoes throughout the apartment of our voices by candlelight.

Fast forward a decade…

Last night we found ourselves 20 minutes in to a complete diatribe on the topic of bottled salad dressing. “Who would pay for salad dressing?” “Think of all the sugars or preservatives!” And so forth. From sodium benzoates to natamycin, it sounds more like a Judy Garland-type dressing if you ask me, if you know what I mean, rather than a great, timeless vinaigrette. The Austrian spoke of a coveted vinaigrette recipe she knew and, in honor of her visit and our 10 years together, she is our guest contributor for today’s post.
 
The vinaigrette, which matches perfectly to be served over a Salad Niçoise, is tasty, easy, and stores well under refrigeration. It can be used for any salad. Use a simple screw-top jar to shake and store. Learn how to make your own dressing this summer and stop buying all those guess-what-is-in-it sugary dressings. “Ekelhaft!” as best expressed in German!
 
Salad Niçoise Vinaigrette
Serves 12
The perfect salad dressing!
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Prep Time
8 min
Prep Time
8 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  2. 1/2 cup wine vinegar (red or white)
  3. 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  4. 1 tsp salt
  5. 2 tsp sugar
  6. Fresh cracked pepper, according to taste
  7. 1 clove of fresh, pureed garlic (optional)
  8. 1/2 teaspoon of Provençal herbs (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine thoroughly and refridgerate
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