Vinaigrette recipes (II) : exploring new dimensions

Having covered the basics, the varied uses and some popular vinaigrette recipess, it’s time to expand our repertoire and explore new dimensions that can take your dishes to another level. In this second part, we will focus on advanced techniques, innovative flavour combinations and tips for customising your vinaigrettes, ensuring that every salad, meat, fish or grilled vegetable becomes a culinary masterpiece.

Advanced techniques for vinaigrettes

Perfect emulsification: An emulsion is the homogeneous mixing of two liquids that do not normally combine, such as oil and vinegar. To achieve a perfect emulsion, you can use a food processor or blender, adding the oil very slowly to the vinegar and other ingredients to create a smooth, even vinaigrette.

Reducing vinegars: For a vinaigrette with a more concentrated flavour and thicker texture, consider reducing the vinegar to a simmer before use. This is especially effective with fruity or balsamic vinegars, intensifying their natural sweetness and acidity.

Personalisation of your vinaigrettes

Adjust the texture: Depending on the salad or dish, you may prefer a more liquid or thicker vinaigrette. Adjust the texture by adding more oil to soften it or more solid ingredients (such as mustard, fruit puree, or miso paste) to thicken it.

Play with sweetness and acidity: Not all palates are the same. Some prefer a sweeter vinaigrette, while others opt for acidity. Experiment with different types of vinegars, fruit juices, or add a little sugar, honey, or maple syrup to find the perfect balance.

Incorporate surprise elements: Add unexpected ingredients to your vinaigrettes to surprise and delight. From a hint of espresso, matcha tea powder, to a splash of liqueur, these additions can transform a simple vinaigrette into the focal point of your dish.

Innovative flavour combinations

Here is a list of 10 sophisticated vinaigrettes that can elevate any dish with their complexity and elegance. After this list, you will find the first two recipes developed in detail.

  1. Black truffle vinaigrette: extra virgin olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar, a touch of black truffle oil, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  2. Champagne and shallot vinaigrette: Champagne vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, finely chopped shallots, a pinch of Dijon mustard and honey.
  3. Fig and balsamic vinaigrette: Fresh or dried fig puree, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper, with a touch of fresh thyme.
  4. Raspberry and pistachio vinaigrette: raspberry vinegar, pistachio oil (or olive oil with crushed pistachios), honey and Dijon mustard.
  5. Miso and ginger vinaigrette: white miso paste, sesame oil, rice vinegar, grated fresh ginger, honey and a touch of soy sauce.
  6. Citrus and saffron vinaigrette: orange and lemon juice, saffron strands, extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar and honey.
  7. Green sauce vinaigrette: Parsley, coriander, basil, olive oil, white wine vinegar, capers, anchovies and garlic, all crushed to form a vibrant green emulsion.
  8. Tamarind and chilli vinaigrette: Tamarind pulp, olive oil, cider vinegar, finely chopped chilli powder or fresh chilli, and a touch of brown sugar.
  9. Blackberry and rosemary vinaigrette: Blackberry purée, red wine vinegar, olive oil, honey and chopped fresh rosemary.
  10. Pear and gorgonzola vinaigrette: Mashed ripe pears, cider vinegar, walnut oil, pieces of gorgonzola cheese and toasted walnuts.
  11. Avocado and cilantro vinaigrette: Blend mashed avocado with fresh cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, and a touch of jalapeño for a creamy vinaigrette with a vibrant, spicy flavour.
  12. Miso and ginger vinaigrette: Combine white miso paste, sesame oil, rice vinegar, grated fresh ginger and a little honey for an umami vinaigrette that is perfect for Asian salads or as a marinade for fish.

Each of these vinaigrettes brings a unique combination of flavours that can transform salads, meats, fish and vegetables into memorable dishes. Experiment with these recipes and adjust the ingredients according to your preferences to create your own signature in the kitchen.

Black truffle vinaigrette

Black truffle vinaigrette

Black truffle vinaigrette is a sophisticated option that adds a gourmet touch to any dish. Its intense, earthy flavour perfectly complements green salads, grilled meats, fish and roasted vegetables. Here’s how to prepare this elegant and flavourful vinaigrette.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of black truffle oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

Instructions

  1. Mix the liquids: In a medium bowl, combine the extra virgin olive oil with the aged balsamic vinegar. These two ingredients will form the base of your vinaigrette, providing a blend of sweet and sour flavours.
  2. Add the truffle oil: Add the black truffle oil to the mixture. Truffle oil is potent, so a tablespoon will be enough to infuse the vinaigrette with its characteristic earthy, luxurious flavour.
  3. Season: Add the sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. These two elements will enhance the complex flavours of the truffle and the balance between oil and vinegar.
  4. Emulsify: Whisk the ingredients vigorously with a whisk or fork until the mixture emulsifies to a homogeneous consistency. Emulsifying ensures that the oil and vinegar combine perfectly, creating a smooth, even texture.
  5. Adjust to taste: Taste the vinaigrette and adjust the seasoning if necessary, adding a little more salt, pepper, or truffle oil according to your personal preference.
  6. Serve or store: Use the vinaigrette immediately or store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator. If the vinaigrette separates or solidifies due to cold, let it stand at room temperature for a few minutes and shake well before serving.

This black truffle vinaigrette is an exceptional dressing that can transform simple dishes into memorable culinary experiences. Try it on a rocket and parmesan salad, as a marinade for steaks before grilling, or drizzled over roasted vegetables for a luxurious finish.

Champagne and shallot vinaigrette

Champagne and shallot vinaigrette is an elegant and refined dressing, perfect for adding a touch of sophistication to delicate salads, seafood and vegetable dishes. The combination of the champagne vinegar, with its subtle acidity, and the sweetness of the shallot, creates a symphony of flavours that enhances any dish. Here’s how to prepare this light and aromatic vinaigrette.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Champagne vinegar
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Prepare the shallots: Start by finely chopping the shallots. This key ingredient will bring a subtle sweetness and a nice texture to your vinaigrette.
  2. Combine the vinegar and honey: In a medium bowl, mix the Champagne vinegar with the honey. Stir until the honey is completely dissolved in the vinegar, creating a slightly sweet and sour base.
  3. Add Dijon mustard: Add Dijon mustard to the mixture. Mustard not only adds depth and complexity to the flavour, but also acts as a natural emulsifier, helping to bind the oil and vinegar together.
  4. Incorporate the shallots: Add the chopped shallots to the bowl. Their mild, slightly sweet taste will complement the acidity of the vinegar and mustard.
  5. Emulsify with the oil: While whisking constantly with a whisk or fork, slowly pour in the extra virgin olive oil. Continue whisking until the mixture emulsifies, acquiring a smooth, uniform consistency.
  6. Season: Taste the vinaigrette and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. The salt will enhance the flavours, while the pepper will add a subtle spiciness.
  7. Serve or store: Use the vinaigrette immediately or store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for future use. If the vinaigrette separates while storing, simply shake well before serving.

This Champagne and shallot vinaigrette is incredibly versatile and can be the perfect complement to a mixed greens salad, a beef carpaccio, or even to dress a steamed fish dish. Its balance of sweetness, acidity and subtle hints of mustard and honey make it an exquisite choice for special occasions or to add a gourmet touch to your everyday meals.

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Awards 2024. Iberoleum 2024, first place in media furtados, gold medal in New York – NYIOOC 2024 and gold medal in Los Angeles Olive Oil Awards 2024.

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