Va Va Vinaigrette

Does the phrase “like oil and water” ring a bell? No this posting isn’t about you and your in-laws. Under normal circumstances, oil and water cannot mix together evenly because oil is lighter than water. Have you ever noticed that your homemade salad dressing breaks apart just a few minutes after shaking? Its about time I share my secret for making a great vinaigrette. I should know, its been about ten years since I have purchased a pre-bottled salad dressing at the grocery store:

1 part acid : 3 parts oil  + mustard (the secret ingredient) to taste

1) Whisk the mustard and acid together and season with salt and pepper.

2) Slowly add the oil in a steady stream, constantly whisking to emulsify the dressing.  You will notice it becomes a little cloudy. Re-season to taste.

I personally like to use fresh lemon juice, red or champagne wine vinegar, even rice wine vinegar for a little sweetness plus extra virgin olive oil, but any oil and acid will work. Use whatever flavor you like best and your food will taste great!

The key to this great vinaigrette is starting with the acid since it weighs more, and incorporating an emulsifying agent like mustard which has enzymes that will help disperse the acid in tiny droplets throughout the oil  (and keep it together).  You’ll never go back to the bottle again!

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