Vinaigrettes should be quick and simple — with few ingredients, but robust, herbaceous flavours. They are also a great way to use up extra herbs and ingredients (if you were a little over-zealous at the market). Here are 5 vinaigrette recipes that embrace some of the best flavours out there right now, and are the perfect finishing touch for tonight’s side salad.
Strawberry, Basil And Balsamic Vinaigrette
COMBINE 8 to 10 medium, very ripe strawberries, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, and 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar in a blender or mini food processor. Puree. Add 8 large basil leaves and pulse until leaves are chunky but not pureed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes 1 cup.
Sweet Pea And Tarragon Vinaigrette
WHIRL 1/3 cup shucked peas until chunky, or chop by hand. Combine 2 tbsp white wine vinegar with 1 tbsp lemon juice, 4 tsp chopped tarragon and a pinch of sugar in a medium bowl. Whisk in 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil. Stir in peas. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes 1 cup.
Creamy Thyme Vinaigrette
STIR 1/4 cup mayonnaise with 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup milk or cream, 2 tbsp lemon juice and 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest. Add 1 tbsp roughly chopped fresh thyme leaves. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes 1 cup.
COMBINE 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar with 1 tsp umami paste (available in most grocery stores) in 1/2 cup in a medium bowl. Whisk in 1/3 cup olive oil. Add 1/3 cup chopped ripe tomatoes and 2 tbsp chopped parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes 2/3 cup.
STIR 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil with 2 tbsp white wine vinegar, 1 minced clove of garlic and 1 tsp honey in a medium bowl. Add 2/3 cup peeled, grated cucumber and 2 tbsp roughly chopped fresh dill. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes 1 cup.
Originally published July 26th, 2014.
Watch: How to make a simple vinaigrette