Vinaigrette Recipes

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Sauce for Steamed Artichokes (Tofu Dressing Recipe) Recipe

Artichokes are harvested year-round but I usually notice an increase in quantity and quality starting in March. We live near Castrovilleso I can find artichokes in abundance this season. Normally, I would make a flavorful aïoli to dip the artichoke leaves in. But given the extra few pounds I need to shed from my baby weight, I experimented with a healthier alternative. I made a quick and easy sauce with silken tofu and the usual ingredients I would use for vinaigrette.

The result is a creamy, tasty sauce without any funkiness from the tofu. This proves that you don't necessarily need to add melted butter, garlic and lemon to make an artichoke flavorful.


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How to Make a Basic Vinaigrette Recipe

How to Make a Basic Vinaigrette

11.08.11 by Jackie

I’ve often heard from readers that the vinaigrette I’ve posted id either too difficult or requires ingredients that are too expensive to purchase for only one dish. Well, fear not; the ingredients in vinaigrettes can be easily swapped out for whatever may be available in your pantry. The real key to easily creating delicious vinaigrettes is to apply the basic rules. Almost all of my vinaigrettes requires a few basic ingredients: an acid (vinegar, concentrated sour-tasting fruit juice, lemon juice), mustard (coarse grained, honey, horseradish, flavored mustard), a sweetener (very sweet concentrated juice, syrup, honey, sorghum), an oil (olive, sesame, walnut, pistachio, etc.), seasoning (salt & pepper) and a mix of herbs and spices (oregano, basil, shallots, pickled garlic, etc) of your choosing. The acidic ingredient and sweetener help balance the salad dressing. The lecithin in the mustard acts as binder and helps emulsify the oil into the mixture.

I used this blueprint to create a dressing for garlic pan-seared artichokes (I pre-cooked them) accompanied by button mushrooms, tomatoes and capers that I drizzled with lemon juice and extra-virgin oil. If you want to recreate this particular vinaigrette but don’t have an ingredient or two on hand, have fun with it! Vinaigrettes are very forgiving, making them perfect candidates for kitchen experimentation. And if you come up with something fabulous, please let me know!


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Beet Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe Recipe

Beet Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe

07.25.11 by Jackie

Orzo salad is an easy one-dish, summertime meal. You could add anything you like, so you can adapt the recipe to fit whatever you find at the market. The most labor intensive work involved in preparing the salad is chopping all the ingredients. For this version, I added cherry tomatoes, broccoli, sugar snap peas, pickled carrots and canned black beans. The main event though, was the addition of the roasted beets. I prepped them in the morning and let them cool to room temperature.

We spent a very low-key, relaxing weekend and I didn't feel like cooking a ton, raising the temperature in the kitchen with the stove and oven during the afternoon, as the temperature got higher. This cold pasta dish was light, complete but still flavorful, and we got to enjoy it by the scoopful in our garden.


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Red Cabbage and Bean Sprout Salad Recipe Recipe

I had leftover bean sprouts from a large pot of phở over the weekend, and I decided to make a salad with it. The color of the bean sprouts needed a little oomph, so I added shredded red cabbage. In addition to the red cabbage, I also used diced Fuji apples.

Given the Asian flair of the salad, I made a peanut, lime and condensed milk vinaigrette. This is a very quick and easy first course, which gave me some time to work on a delicious dessert to satisfy my husband's sweet tooth for Valentine’s Day.


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French Cauliflower Salad Recipe (Salade de Chou Fleur) Recipe

Today's recipe is an easy and healthy salad called "chou-fleur vinaigrette". During my childhood in France, it was a dish that was served fairly frequently at the cafeteria of my elementary school (carottes Vichy too!). Cauliflower is boiled, then coated with vinegar and oil and sprinkled with flat-leaf parsley. That’s it! Who says French cooking has to be complicated?

I've mentioned quite a few times lately that I've been trying to eat healthier. Cauliflower is a big part of that because it's packed with fiber and vitamin C. But cauliflower salad is not a full meal by itself, so I added hard-cooked quail eggs and a piece of bread on the side. It’s a simple, quick and healthy summer meal. Rachael Ray would be proud!


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