Text and Images by Tris Marlis @ Makansutra
Our favourite time of the year is here, December is full of festivities and it’s all about food, food and food. There’s a lot of steaks, roasted turkeys, cookies and bottles of wine in between Christmas dinner to New Year Party. Your body may yearn for a little break in between, so here’s a refreshing salad recipe with homemade dressing to go along with your steak for Christmas dinner. We prefer vinaigrette dressings as the acidity from vinegar or citrus fruits like lemon and orange helps suppress food cravings, improves digestion and lower cholesterol.
The most basic ingredients in vinaigrette are vinegar and oil. Just remember the golden ratio, 1:3 (vinegar:oil). You can play with other ingredients to create your own vinaigrette, the variation is almost endless.
For vinegar, use a good one, like wine, balsamic, cider or sherry vinegar. White vinegar is the most neutral flavoured, but very seldom used. Salad oil, canola oil or soybean oil are fine, but extra virgin oil is preferred. For seasoning, simple vinaigrette only needs salt and pepper. You can also add in minced garlic, shallot or herbs to taste.
French Vinaigrette Ingredients: 1 tablespoon wine vinegar, 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 small shallot finely chopped, 1/2 teaspoon of dijon mustard, pinch of salt and pepper, mixed herbs if desired.
Wasabi Vinaigrette Ingredients: 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon wasabi paste, pinch of salt and pepper.
For both, mix all ingredients (except oil) in a mixing bowl. Then later slowly whisk oil into the mixture. Vinegar and oil don’t naturally mix, whisk until it forms emulsion and serve.
Lemon juice is used to compliment and enhance the vinegar. Some people also use lemon to replace vinegar. Add some sweetness to your vinaigrette with honey.
Honey Lemon Vinaigrette Ingredients: 2 lemons juiced, 1 tablespoon honey, 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or more to taste), pinch of salt and pepper.
Also mix all ingredients (except oil) in a mixing bowl, then slowly whisk in oil.
We use different kinds of acid in these recipes, but you can use what you already have in your kitchen. Making vinaigrette is easy, so have fun making it!