Chef Andy: An all-purpose vinaigrette
By Andy Mueller
This one is fun – a vinaigrette that can wake up any salad, be used as a marinade or be a zesty dip for your fresh veggies or crusty bread.
It’s definitely a “rustic” style vinaigrette as peppers, onions and olives are pulsed to a fine mince, but add amazing texture and crunch.
I’ve used this as a marinade for chicken by placing boneless breasts in a ziploc bag and adding enough vinaigrette to coat, massage it into the meat and then let rest in the fridge for at least one hour and up to four hours before grilling or baking.
My favorite way to use this is a dressing for a powerhouse salad.
It works on any type of greens, but shines with more pronounced flavored greens like spring mix, arugula, watercress and kale.
These types of greens have bitter notes and the pop of the vinegar coupled with the richness of the olive oil really come together beautifully.
With the start of the growing season upon us, now is the time to take advantage of what’s available.
With this all-purpose vinaigrette in your arsenal, a trip to the Farmers’ Market can be like an adventure to find all the produce and local meat varieties that will be enhanced and elevated by this magical marinade.
The key to this vinaigrette having more texture than most is the addition of Dijon mustard.
Dijon contains lecithin, an ingredient found in mustard seeds.
This molecule has the unique ability to bond to water on one side and fat on the other, which helps maintain the viscosity and holds it all together when you shake or whisk the ingredients together.
Greek vinaigrette and marinade
In a food processor add:
• 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded, diced
• 1/2 small red onion, peeled and diced
• 2 green onions, chopped
• 12 kalamata olives, pitted
• 1 clove garlic, cut in half
Pulse the ingredients to achieve fine dice but not pureed.
Transfer ingredients to a large glass jar with tight-fitting lid then add:
• 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
• 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 1 cup canola oil
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1 teaspoon dried basil
• 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
Close the lid tightly and shake it like you own it.
Use the leftover red bell pepper and red onion as toppings for your salad.