Day 11: Vinaigrette
This section (and indeed, some of the next few coming up) is one of the ones that I saw on the list and thought, “ooh, that’s going to be fun!”. I love vinaigrettes. Love them. Unfortunately, when I thought of vinaigrettes, I thought only of salad dressing.
While that is not a bad first thought to have, as vinaigrettes are rather ubiquitous in terms of salad dressing, there is more that you can do with them.
Ruhlman breaks down the components of what makes a vinaigrette and illustrates some other uses for them, declaring them part of “utilitarian sauces“. Rightly so, as they are incredibly versatile. He discusses a rather common variation (Red Wine Vinaigrette) thusly:
A vinaigrette is traditionally made of three parts oil and one part acid. This baseline, always a good place to start, makes a perfect classic red wine vinaigrette.
…The basic vinaigrette can be enhanced with other flavors – minced shallot, garlic, fresh herbs (added at the last-minute).
…The vinaigrette is infinitely variable. (p. 206)
Recipe: Lemon-Pepper Vinaigrette, Two Ways
To be clear, I prepared the full quantity the Caesar ”way” due to time constraints (husband’s schedule, other things to take care of today). Basically, the difference between the base vinaigrette and the Caesar vinaigrette was the difference of one ingredient, so I did manage to taste both versions.
This made such a lovely Caesar dressing that it is quite possible that I will never buy Caesar dressing again. Though, to be fair, I have never been a fan of heavy, creamy Caesar dressings and have always favored vinaigrettes on my salads anyway.
This recipe produced a really light Caesar vinaigrette positively sharp in flavor without overdoing the acid component. Even as a lover of vinegar in general, I can recognize when a dressing has too much. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing.