As you might be able to tell by now, I’m a bit of a ‘purist’ when it comes to food – especially French food. While the French vinaigrettes you buy in the supermarkets are OK, they just don’t taste authentically French to me. There are also a lot of preservatives in these products so here is a way to create your own French vinaigrettes using the right ingredients that will bring wholesome flavours to your salad.
When inviting my friends to dinner, they always comment on the dressing saying there is no way they could make such nice dressing. It’s funny the perception we have of what we are not familiar with, when in fact once we take a closer look and ask questions or observe, you realise there isn’t a lot you can’t tackle! Especially in the kitchen… This recipe is ideal for holidays or busy full time working mothers. It’s quick and simple, and taste great!
So how to make the perfect vinaigrette? Very simple.
- Find an old jar (I use the Dijon mustard glass jar) – in France we always keep empty jars for jams, vinaigrette, sundried tomatoes, etc…
- First pour olive oil (fill at least half of the jar)
- Add balsamic vinegar (or wine vinegar – I know it is always about wine!) – I normally add about three tablespoons but I don’t measure – I just pour. In French cooking, It’s all about tasting not so much true measures.
- Add some dried herbs (the fresh herbs will make it messy so dried herbs is better). I use the Italian Herbs that you buy in sachets at the supermarket. They have a wonderful blend of Provence herbs and more. Don’t be shy with the herbs (at least two tablespoons).
- The most important ingredient: the seeded Mustard. Yes, I use the seededDijon Mustard but that’s just because of my upbringing and honouring the family tradition. You can easily use the Masterfoods seeded mustard. It is pretty much the same. Put about three big tablespoons – at least.
- Close lid firmly and shake the jar. Ta-Da!! Your French vinaigrette is ready! I keep this in the fridge for up to three weeks easily. This won’t go off, there is enough salt in the mix that you can safely use it for weeks.
- Use a spoon to serve.
There are many variations of Vinaigrettes, once you have the basics, you can play along with changing oils, adding nuts or herbs, or even using a different vinegar (berry vinegar for example). I just like to stick to the basics. It works and I know what’s in it.
Call me crazy, but this is why when I go on holidays, I always have the same essentials for my kitchen: a sachet of herbs, a jar of mustard and olive oil. (TIP: when on holidays, you can do the vinaigrette without the vinegar, works as well.). These essentials also work for barbecues, pizzas or any other dish you decide to cook.
Have you got your kitchen essentials on holidays?