Lemony Vinaigrette

January 24, 2013 § 2 Comments

This isn’t for you. This is for me. This is for my failing memory. For the pause in my sentences, in my walk across the kitchen. My forty-something brain used to run, and now it slogs through water. I must now try to remember, instead of just remembering.

Shake the dickens out of it.

Shake the dickens out of it.

No, it’s not that bad. Not that bad by a long shot. It just takes repeated (and repeated and repeated) motions or readings or hearings to imprint anything into my mind. It takes time, it takes effort, it takes a bit of humility, but the routine will eventually become routine.

I remember this vinaigrette for its lightness, its lemonyness, its bite of pepper, and that unmistakeable hint of something mysterious (you’ll learn it’s sherry vinegar). But for the life of me I can’t remember the recipe.  This vinaigrette, used as a dressing for a bean salad in the Fields of Greens Cookbook, is for me. But I share it with you. Hopefully you’ll love it enough to make it routinely.

Ingredients
2 tsp. minced lemon zest (from about half a lemon)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about one lemon)1 tbsp. sherry vinegar
2 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
1 Tbs. sherry vinegar
1 tsp. salt (use kosher)
1/4 tsp. pepper (5-10 turns of a pepper mill)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

  1. First—very important!—do NOT confuse sherry vinegar with sherry. NOT the same thing. I speak from experience. You make that mistake only once.
  2. Combine everything in a jar with a tight, sealed lid (e.g. a mason jar) and shake the dickens out of it.
  3. Makes about 3/4 cup.
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Chive Vinaigrette

April 23, 2012 § 3 Comments

Stones. That’s my usual response to what fills my first harvest in my community garden in early spring. I spend days clearing the surface of these leaden balloons. But not really. They’re always right below the soil, ready to buoy themselves up. Stones float. That’s the only possible reason for their constant surfacing.

This year, though, my garden has a new, less stony epidermis. Long story short, there’s 6 inches of new soil in my garden. Stones, still, but not as in springs past. Give it some time.

This spring’s first harvest is chives. Thrilling, I know. I had never planted them in my plot. They were just sorta there, leftovers from previous gardeners. But just before that 6 inches was layered down, I thought to rescue the just-emerging greeny spikes. And because I gave them a second chase at life, I decided to fulfill their purpose. I decided to use them in some way in my kitchen.

Right. And exactly how would I do this? What does one do with chives, anyway? I’m sure something, but nothing came to mind. Google rescued me, of course, sending me to several different sites. Oh yes, biscuits were made—cheddar-chive biscuits. And a chive chip is on my wait list. But for now, let’s start with something easy. Let’s get all vinaigrette.

Epicurious, thank you for this green-as-goodness dressing. Faced with a minimalistic salad (i.e., I really didn’t have much in the fridge and the salad, therefore, was a bit weak), this vinaigrette perked up what was paltry. You could say, I suppose, that the chives did indeed fulfill their purpose.

Chive Vinaigrette, ala Epicurious:

Chive vinaigrette


  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1/4 cup Champagne vinegar
  • 1 small shallot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1. Blend the first five ingredients in a blender. Just a note here: I used white wine vinegar – didn’t have Champagne vinegar in the house. And show yourself some respect—use a good Dijon.

2. Next up, the oils. With motor running, slowing add in the veg oil and evoo. Hold off on the last quarter of that 1/3 cup evoo. Give it a taste first and see if more is needed.

3. You’re done. Well, not really. Before you’re done, give it a taste. It’ll benefit from a pinch of kosher salt. Or two.

The result: a more-beautiful-than-you-expected green green green dressing with a light but full-flavored expression. But I give you fair warning before you enjoy —you’ll want to be sure the person you kiss next has also partaken. Chives are onions, after all.

Lemon-Oregano Vinaigrette

June 11, 2011 § 1 Comment

Salad season is here. Fresh lettuce is popping up all over garden, and balsamic vinaigrettes are a little too heavy and wintry for delicate, home-grown leaves. There’s nothing that says summer quite like this Lemon-Oregano Vinaigrette. Sits politely and lightly but adds a lot to a conversation—yeah, that’s exactly how I’d describe it.

Jennifer found the recipe in the “R.S.V.P.” column in a few-years-old Bon Appetit, an adaptation of a recipe found at The Signature Room. We momentarily lost it, gone in the recycling maybe. But found once again—just last night—as a grainy photo on my computer. So, here it is, hopefully never to be lost again.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 garlic clove
  • 1 1/2 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp distilled white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp mild honey
  • 1/4 tsp salt (kosher)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh oregano

-Blend all ingredients except oregano in blender until combined.

-Transfer to a bowl and stir in oregano. Salt and pepper to taste.

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