Want something to do with all those fresh herbs that are available now that springtime is here? I’m a fan of vinaigrettes. They make great salad dressings, and awesome marinades. I love the play between the tang of a good vinegar, and the earthiness of herbs, or sweetness of citrus.
So try this out the next time you are at your local Farmer’s Market salivating over parsley, basil, and thyme.
This is an all-around salad dressing and marinade that is made in your blender. (Or with an Immersion Blender). Using fresh herbs ensures a taste that will awaken the palate, and bring salads to new heights. As a marinade it will add that special essence you need to grilled vegetables, or tofu and seitan.
- A Blender or Immersion blender
- A knife
- A clean 1 quart jar
- 2 tbsp fresh Oregano, cleaned, stems removed
- 2 tbsp fresh Thyme, cleaned, stems removed
- 1/3 cup Basil leaves, packed
- 1/4 cup Parsley, chopped, stems removed
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp White or Red Vinegar
- 1 cup Olive Oil
- S & P to taste
- 2 tbsp water to blend herbs
Place the first six ingredients into the blender, and puree on the liquefy setting. If using an immersion wand, place in a tall container (at least an 2 inches taller than the ingredients to prevent splash) and start blending. Add a bit of water to get the herbs going. The onions/shallots will add liquid as they break down. Slowly add the olive oil into the blender, a few drops at a time, this will emulsify* the two liquids. Adding a bit more water helps to stabilize the vinaigrette so that it doesn’t separate over time.
After adding a quarter cup, stream the rest of the oil into the blender. Be careful not to “cook” the ingredients. Some blenders have a tendency to run hot, and if the vinaigrette heats up it will break. You can fix this by refrigerating the vinaigrette for a little while, and then remixing it.
If you are using an Immersion Blender there is less risk of this happening. Just keep blending to a consistency you like.
Use on your favorite salads or to marinade veggies for the grill.
*emulsion is a process in which you are blending two disparate ingredients. The beginning of the process is slow as you add a few drops at a time of the one (oil) to the other (vinegar). After the mixture stablizes, you can add more of the oil at a time, checking to make sure it is blending properly.