Balsamic Vinegar and Oil

Balsamic Vinegar and Oil

A vinaigrette for salad or fish

Monday, May 26th, 2008 3:58pm

A simple vinaigrette: a bottle of olive oil, a pinch of sea salt, a cruet of vinegar, and a pepper grinder. With these simple instruments and ingredients, you can make your own vinaigrette, a humble sauce that many do not even consider to be a proper sauce.

The French have named it “la sauce vinaigrette”, however, and when done properly, it can turn an ordinary salad into an extraordinary dish. Vinaigrettes are not reserved only for salads, and can be used to good effect in a multitude of dishes such as grilled fish, roasted chicken, pan-seared steak, or wilted greens.

Vinaigrettes are extraordinarily simple to make, and all you really need to know is the 3:1 ratio. This denotes the ratio of amounts of oil to vinegar. Because vinaigrettes are made from so few ingredients, however, the quality of each ingredient is very important, as it contributes much of the flavor of the sauce. You should only use the best olive oil and vinegar that you can buy. Good sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper are important too.

The only things that you will need besides your ingredients are a whisk and a bowl. First place the salt and pepper in the bowl together with the vinegar, then whisk them thoroughly. This allows the salt to dissolve in the vinegar, as it does not do so in oil. Once this is done, you can whisk in the oil, and your basic sauce vinaigrette is complete.

A typical vinaigrette is made using red wine vinegar and olive oil. By combining that with a few key ingredients, the number of variations of vinaigrette that you can make is almost endless. Here are some standard variations that you may consider:

Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette: Substitute white wine vinegar for red wine vinegar, then whisk a tablespoon of honey and stone-ground or Dijon mustard into it. Finally, add your olive oil. This vinaigrette complements grilled steak or salmon beautifully.

Cilantro-Basil Vinaigrette: Use balsamic vinegar in the place of red wine vinegar, then add a few tablespoons of minced fresh basil and cilantro. Finally, add the olive oil to the mix to complete the vinaigrette.

Citrus Vinaigrette: In the place of vinegar use citrus juice, such as lemon juice or lime juice. Taste as you add the citrus juice, and you may wish to add more oil to balance out the tart taste. This vinaigrette tastes excellent with avocado salad or grilled fish.

Warm Cider Vinaigrette: Fill ½ a cup with cider vinegar, chopped shallots, salt and pepper and leave to simmer until it is reduced to 1/3 cup. Stop heating it and stir 2/3 cup of olive oil in. Tastes best served over slightly bitter greens, bacon strips and warm goat cheese.

Sherry-Walnut Vinaigrette: Substitute sherry vinegar for red wine vinegar, and mix with walnut oil instead of olive oil.

Champagne-Hazelnut Vinaigrette: Combine champagne vinegar with hazelnut oil and whisk together. Use over a salad of baby spinach, sliced strawberries, and some crushed, toasted hazelnuts.

Jalapeño-Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette: In the place of red wine vinegar, use equal parts white wine vinegar and lime juice. Place this in a food processor along with salt, pepper, half a seeded jalapeño, and two tablespoons of fresh cilantro. Blend until even, then drizzle in olive oil while motor is still running.

Anchovy Vinaigrette: Blend two or three anchovy fillets in a blender with red wine vinegar and two teaspoons of Dijon mustard. While the motor is still running, slowly pour in the olive oil, then serve the resulting sauce over steamed asparagus, romaine salad, or poached leeks.

Parsley Vinaigrette for Roasted Meat or Poultry: Roast or pan-sear meat or poultry, then blend 3 tablespoonfuls of the hot juiced left in the pan together with red wine vinegar, pepper, salt, and 2 tablespoonfuls of fresh parsley. Keeping the motor running, slowly pour in 2 tablespoonfuls of olive oil.

Garlic Vinaigrette: Using a mortar and pestle or the flat side of a kitchen knife, mash a large clove of garlic with salt. Then, add vinegar and pepper to the mixture before whisking it with the olive oil. Alternatively, you could use one tablespoon of roasted garlic in the place of the mashed garlic. Tastes fantastic with grilled steak or lamb chops.

Ginger-Sesame Vinaigrette: Stir 1 tablespoonful of fresh minced ginger into rice wine vinegar, then whisk in toasted sesame oil and canola oil mixed in the proportions of one part sesame oil to three parts canola oil.

[tag] vinaigrette simple[/tag]

Vinaigrette Recipes

Friday, May 23rd, 2008 10:52pm

Quick Pesto Vinaigrette

Time to prepare: Five minutes


6 Tablespoons of Olive Oil, extra-virgin
2 Cloves of peeled Garlic
1 ½ Tablespoons of Walnuts or Pine Nuts
1 Cup of Basil Leaves, fresh

3 Tablespoons of White Wine Vinegar


1. Place the garlic cloves and nuts in a good processor and blend them until they are finely chopped.

2. With the processor still running, add the basil leaves then turn off the processor and scrape the ingredients from the walls of the container.

3. Turn the processor on again and add the vinegar and oil slowly through the feed tube. Mix the resulting dressing well and pour over green salads, tomato salads, or use over broiled, grilled, poached, or sautéed fish or poultry. Three-fourths cup serves: 4 to 6 servings as sauce; 6 to 8 servings over salad.

Raspberry Vinaigrette

Time to Prepare: 5 Minutes


¼ Cup of Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons of Raspberries, fresh
¼ Cup of Raspberry Vinegar
Black Pepper, freshly ground


1. Mash the raspberries. Add the vinegar to the raspberries and mix well before beating in the olive oil.

2. Add salt and pepper to taste, then serve drizzled over salad or as sauce for sautéed chicken breasts or grilled quail.

Half cup serves: 4 servings over salad; 2 to 4 servings as a sauce

Lemon-Olive Vinaigrette

Time to Prepare: 10 Minutes


¼ Cup of Olive Oil
Juice from 2 Lemons
1 Tablespoon of Olivada (black olive paste; found in fancy food stores)
Black Pepper, freshly ground
1 Tablespoon of Italian Parsley leaves, finely minced

1. Place the lemon juice and olivada in a bowl and mix well. Then beat in the olive oil.

2. Add salt and pepper to taste, then garnish with parsley. Works well as a sauce for fish or cooked dried beans.

Asian Vinaigrette

Time to Prepare: 5 Minutes


¼ Cup of Rice Vinegar
1 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce
½ Teaspoon of Sugar
½ Cup of Sesame Oil, Chinese
A pinch of Red Pepper Flakes

1. Mix the vinegar, soy sauce and sugar in a bowl. Then beat in the olive oil.

2. Season it with red pepper flakes until it is to your liking. The resulting dressing is best used over steamed vegetables.

¾ cup serves: 6 to 8 servings over salad.

[tag] vinaigrette recipes[/tag] 

Salmon with Balsamic Reduction

Thursday, April 10th, 2008 6:45pm

A Balsamic Vinegar Reduction to Accompany Salmon Ingredients:

Half a cup of aged balsamic vinegar
Half a cup of chicken broth
1 tsp of fresh thyme, finely chopped
¾ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp black pepper, freshly ground
2 lb Salmon fillets, cut to give six pieces of equal size
2 tsps of canola or grape seed oil


In a pan that will not react to the vinegar mix vinegar and chicken broth and bring to a simmer for up to twenty five minutes or until the quantity has reduced by fifty percent.

Meanwhile mix the other dry ingredients which include the thyme, salt and pepper and cover the top of the salmon by rubbing in these ingredients. Heat the oil in a skillet and add the salmon with the skin side on top. The salmon fillets should be cooked for up to six minutes and turning regularly so that the salmon begins to flake but is still pink in the center. This process should be repeated for each piece of salmon.

To serve, drizzle your balsamic over each piece of salmon and accompany with fluffy mashed potatoes. To compensate for the richness of the salmon there is a higher quantity of vinegar and a lighter vegetable oil in this recipe.

[tag] balsamic salmon recipe[/tag]


Vinaigrette Dressing Balsamic

Thursday, April 10th, 2008 6:42pm

Home Made Vinaigrette Dressing Made From Balsamic Vinegar


3 tbs Balsamic vinegar, aged variety
1 tsp French mustard (Dijon)
1 clove of crushed garlic
Extra virgin olive oil – ¾ cup
To taste – salt and pepper


Mix all the ingredients in a blender to create an emulsion. The vinaigrette will be denser than made by hand. For up to 8 servings, one cup will be adequate. For one serving up to 3 tablespoons of dressing is required. When you have processed your dressing you can either serve immediately or store in an airtight container in a refrigerator. If using after the dressing has been refrigerated you will need to quickly blitz prior to serving.

Vinegar Brine, Apples and Pork Chops


4 tbs sugar
5 tsps Kosher salt
3 cps Cold water
5 Freshly ground whole peppercorns
1 bay leaf
Four 8 oz pork loin chops including the bone
4 tsps Extra virgin olive oil
2 Peeled, cored and sliced apples, Pink Lad or Braeburn. Ensure slices ¼” thick.
2 cups of apple cider vinegar


Simmer the apple cider vinegar in a non reactive pan for 8 minutes or until reduced by 50%. Add the salt and sugar when the pan containing the vinegar has been removed from the heat and stir until the salt and sugar is dissolved. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add ground peppercorns, water and the bay leaf. When this mixture has cooled, pour over the pork chops which should be placed in a baking tray. The chops and mixture should now be covered and allowed to marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

Before cooking your chops preheat your broiler, take the chops out of the brine mixture and ensure they are drying by patting with a paper towel.

Place the chops on a baking sheet lined with kitchen foil and cook for about 6 minutes on each side. When cooking is complete, remove them from the oven and allow to stand for a few minutes. Loosely cover with kitchen foil to create a tent.

While your pork chops are resting, heat 2 tablespoons in a saucepan and add the apples. Sauté for about seven minutes or until they are softened and tender. Season with salt and pepper. The pork chops are served with apples and a little of the remaining olive oil. Your Pork chops can be accompanied by potatoes or pasta.

[tag] vinagrette dressing[/tag]


Vinaigrette Recipe

Tuesday, April 08th, 2008 4:29pm

Basic Vinaigrette

Vinaigrette is easy to prepare and store. You can make a batch a day before you need it and keep it in the refrigerator. You should add only a few garlic and shallots since the flavors usually become stronger as time passes by.

3 to 6 tbsp vinegar of your choice/ Lemon juice may be added or used as replacement
¾ cup of mixed pure olive oil and extra virgin oil

Dash of pepper and Kosher salt

Other options:
1 and 1 /2 to 2 teaspoons of any vinegar you want (Lemon juice could also be a good second choice
Salt and pepper, Kosher version
1 ½ to 2 Dijon mustard, usually served with Champagne vinegar or white wine.
1 tablespoon of minced shallots
½ to 1 teaspoon garlic (pressed or pureed)
Herbs, freshly chopped


Whisk the ingredients together, except the olive oil. As soon as the mixture is blended. Add a dash of pepper and salt to taste. Then check the taste. You may add other ingredients or add to the main ingredients. This batch will yield one cup.

[tag] basic vinaigrette, vinaigrette recipe[/tag]


Modena Balsamic Masserie di Sant’Eramo

Friday, March 21st, 2008 8:05pm

Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
Aceto Balsamico di Modena Acidity 6%
Product of Italy

This balsamic vinegar is produced in Modena in Italy. The process used to create this balsamic vinegar an age old method that has not altered for hundreds of years. Red grapes are picked from the vine and transformed into a concentrate by the cooking process. This concentrate is accompanied by a wine vinegar and kept in wooden casks to age.

Because of its exceptional quality due to the process by which is it made and aged this particular balsamic vinegar is widely used as a gourmet product for many aspects of Italian cuisine. There is no doubt that Masserie di Sant’Eramo would be the first choice of any discerning cook when preparing a recipe that requires balsamic vinegar.

Masserie di Sant’Eramo is superior to most other wine vinegars because of the traditional methods used to produce it. The whole process of creating this balsamico is slow and deliberate. The grapes used for the creation of this balsamic vinegar lend body to the final product as they are only picked once they are perfectly ripened. Like fine wine, the finished grape concentrate is slow aged in wooden caskets. The resulting rich flavour is second to none. Because of its intense flavour this balsamic vinegar can be used sparingly in salad dressings or on its own.

Balsamic vinegar has a rich intense flavour and only a little is required to bring extra flavour to your dishes. The uses for this balsamico are many and varied. Balsamic vinegar is also an excellent tenderizer for all meats and poultry and can be used as part of the ingredients for a marinade. Balsamic vinegar will add a zest to many dishes hot or cold, particularly pasta, fresh salads, vegetables, and even soup. A really popular use for Balsamic vinegar is Bread dipping. All you need is your cruet set of gourmet oil and aged Modena vinegar and you have the basis of the perfect Mediterranean snack.

To prepare this delicious traditional Italian appetizer, you need some exciting fresh Mediterranean or French bread. You may also like to add some sliced tomatoes for extra taste. Also dress a fresh steamed medley of vegetables and season with sea salt and a little of the Balsamico di Modena.

As an idea for gift Masserie di Sant’Eramo is a perfect offering for any occasion. Instead of offering your party hostess wine or flowers why not consider a bottle of this exclusive aged gourmet balsamic vinegar. Friends, family and discerning lovers of good food will really appreciate its quality and originality.

[tag] Modena balsamic, balsamic vinegar, Masserie di Sant’Eramo[/tag]


Bread Dipping and Olive Oil

Friday, March 14th, 2008 9:27pm

Dipping with olive oilOlive Oil Dipping Dishes With Bread

1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2/3 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
15 Cloves Pressed Garlic
15 Cloves Finely Minced Garlic
1/4 Pound Chopped Fresh Basil
1/8 Pound Chopped Fresh Thyme
1 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
4 Ounces Seeded and Minced Jalapeno (Add more if you like spicy foods)

Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisk them together  until an even distribution is obtained. Let the mixture settle for 15 to 20 minutes before serving over fresh French or Italian Bread.

Garlic Olive Oil Bread Dip

Carabba’s is a renowned restaurant that serves fresh sourdough bread, accompanied by a bread dip that mesmerizes the taste buds, leaving you wanting more. Spaghetti or Stromboli, prepared with the same dip, also make wonderfully tasty bread dipping dishes.

Garlic-Olive Oil Bread Dip Recipe

1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. course grind black pepper (or freshly ground)
3 cloves garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/8 – 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

Add all the ingredients to a small bowl and mix until they are evenly distributed, then allow plenty of time for the mixture to settle. The longer you do so, the stronger the flavor of the dip. The dip can be used immediately or kept refrigerated for some time, but should always be served at room temperature. Bread, pizza, spaghetti – all taste excellent when accompanied by this dip.

[tag] olive oil dipping, olive oil bread dip[/tag] 


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