Vinaigrette

Homemade herb vinaigrette: Homemade vinaigrettes are so easy that there is no reason to ever slather your greens in store-bought dressings. (James Moore/TCA Photo)

Homemade vinaigrettes are so easy that there is no reason to ever slather your greens in store-bought dressings. After I mix the ingredients together, I like to store mine in a small Mason jar, so that I can shake it well before using (in case the oil and vinegar have separated).

The addition of a small amount of mayonnaise helps keep the dressing stabilized. I usually use Champagne vinegar, but a good red wine vinegar or fresh squeezed lemon juice will work as well.

Easy homemade herb vinaigrette

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons very finely minced shallot
1/2 teaspoon mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon table salt
Freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh parsley or chives
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon, marjoram, or oregano

1. Combine vinegar, shallot, mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper to taste in small nonreactive bowl. Whisk until mixture is milky in appearance and no lumps of mayonnaise remain.

2. Whisking constantly, drizzle oil very slowly into vinegar mixture. If pools of oil are gathering on surface as you whisk, stop addition of oil and whisk mixture well to combine, then resume whisking in oil in slow stream. Vinaigrette should be glossy and lightly thickened, with no pools of oil on its surface. Add herbs; whisk to combine. Pour into a jar with a tight-fitting lid; cover with lid. Can be made a couple of hours in advance and left at room temperature; store leftover vinaigrette in refrigerator for 2-3 days.

James Moore blogs at Cook Like James. One for the Table is Amy Ephron's online magazine on food, politics, and love (oneforthetable.com).

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