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Chive & Shallot Vinaigrette



I don't think I ever had a ready made bottled salad dressing the whole time I was growing up. My mom always made her own salad dressing from scratch.   It was always the same, and never varied, but we didn't mind because we loved it.  We always had a salad on Sundays with our supper and she would begin it early in the afternoon.  She would thinly slice some onion, or cut it into small bits and put it into a bowl.


On top of that she would pour a quantity of white vinegar, adding some salt and pepper.  She would let that sit for a while . . .  the onions almost pickling in the vinegar.  Finally she would add just plain old salad oil, nothing special, and maybe a pinch of sugar.  The lettuce and other salad vegetables would be tossed into it and and then it would all be tossed together and that would be our salad!  We loved it.


A salad is only as good as its dressing.  That is a fact.  I can't believe how many times restaurants get it all wrong . . .  salad that is.  Old lettuce, sorry tasting dressings (if any at all) or just plain salad cream. Don't get me wrong.  Salad cream has its place, but if I am paying a whack for a salad I want a decent dressing with it, and decent salad ingredients!  (You all know this is a pet peeve of mine!)


We had a lovely salad with our dinner today which I made just using what I had to hand. I was eager to use some of the tender young Sorrel leaves from our garden. I have never grown Sorrel before.  They are the leaves you see in this salad with the red veins.  It is supposed to have a sour flavour, but I couldn't taste it.  Nevermind  . . .


Other than that I added baby Gem lettuce leaves, which are kind of like a baby romaine, but with a somewhat bitter flavour.  I also added thinly sliced red onions, cucumber, some cherry tomatoes, cubed beetroot and some radishes that I got rather fancy with . . .  cutting them into little crowns.


I thought it all looked rather pretty together.  A pretty salad deserves a tasty dressing, and this Chive & Shallot Vinaigrette is certainly that! 



Its a very simple dressing with simple ingredients  . . . I love making tasty things with simple ingredients.  Lemon juice. Shallots. Salt. Pepper. Dijon mustard. (Unheard of in my mother's time, but a very common kitchen ingredient these days.) Salt and black pepper, and some chives, freshly picked and minced from our garden.


I like to add a touch of sugar just to cut the edge off the tartness of this, but you don't have to if you don't want to.  Todd doesn't like really sharp flavours.  This is a fabulous dressing! 



*Chive & Shallot Vinaigrette Dressing*
Serves 4
 

This tangy delicious vinaigrette goes well on mixed leaf salads, grilled chicken, fish, etc. I use my immersion blender for this. It makes it thick and creamy.


2 TBS finely minced fresh chives
1 TBS minced shallot
1 1/2 TBS fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
pinch sugar (optional)
4 TBS extra virgin olive oil
 
 



Put the shallot, lemon juice and mustard in the beaker container of an immersion blender.  Blitz to puree the shallots.  Add the seasoning and blitz again.  Trickle in the olive oil, running the blender the whole time, and moving it a bit up and down, until you have a thick and creamy dressing. (Alternately you can do this in a regular blender)  Whisk in the minced chives. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.



I always spend the last few months of Winter/Spring looking forward to the late Spring/early Summer salad days. Its one of my favourite times of the year, and mostly it is because of Salad.  I quite simply adore salad.  And yes, a good salad dressing makes all the difference in the world, and this a good'un!  Bon Appetit!



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Marie Rayner
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6 comments:

  1. I'm always looking for a good vinaigrette! Thanks for coming by my blog. Ugh -- not getting email comments and I think it has to do with blogger and the EU regulations. But will try... anyway, most appreciated!

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    Replies
    1. I adore vinaigrette dressing Jeanie! I have a bazillion versions up my sleeve! I am sure you are right about the comments! xoxo

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  2. I never buy bought either:) I now have little packets pre made for wanna be olive garden lol..I remember liking Catalina as a teen..but mostly my dadwhipped up an oil and white vinegar dressing..looks good:)Love different pretty little greens:):)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Monique. I haven't had Catalina in years. I do remember liking it though! xoxo

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