Daily Archives: June 25, 2008

Fantasy Vinaigrette

I haven’t really felt like talking much, recently. Not here, anyway. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s the nice weather. (These days, I am not feeling what I would call driven.)

Maybe it’s that the things I’ve been “discovering” have felt awfully simple: Bacon. Salad. Eggs.

(Have you ever made an egg quesadilla for breakfast? Heat the tortilla up on one side, flip it over, and crack the egg onto the hot side. Use a fork to break the yolk and spread the egg around on the tortilla, like Anita does with her savory crepes. Add shredded sharp cheddar cheese. When the egg has set, fold the tortilla in half: Breakfast burrito effect, without the egg pan. I just had it for lunch. Right now, I want to make it again tomorrow, but it certainly doesn’t qualify as exciting.)

Or. Maybe it’s just that there’s not much to say.

I have been meaning to say thanks, though – to my neighbor for watching the dog, to friends for having us over for dinner. . . I’ve found just the thing. It’s my fantasy vinaigrette. From now on, I’ll be making it by the gallon.

Maybe you have such a vinaigrette in mind, too – it’s creamy without being too fattening, tangy and interesting but not clingy or cloying, flexible but never pedestrian. I found mine at American Flatbread in Burlington, Vermont, on a mixed green salad served with goat cheese. When I asked the server what was in the dressing, she rattled off an ingredient list – tahini and ginger, she said, and the tang is raspberry vinegar. (Really? Raspberry vinegar and tahini? Oh, yes.)

I’ve recreated it, with even more success than I hoped for. I’ve already found a home for it on an easygoing Bibb salad with avocado, tomato, and cucumber, and also on a simple plate of arugula. We slathered it on grilled salmon, and frankly, with today’s second batch, I plan to make a habit of eating it on a spoon, for snack. That is, unless I have a second quesadilla. In that case, I’ll wait until dinner.

Fantasy Vinaigrette 2

Fantasy Vinaigrette (PDF)
with tahini, ginger, and raspberry vinegar

Serve the vinaigrette as is, over anything that’ll hold liquid, or use it as a dressing for pasta or chopped vegetable salads. I can’t wait to try it on a carrot salad, with scallions, cilantro, and a dash of cumin.

TIME: 15 minutes
MAKES: About 3/4 cup

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 small garlic clove, smashed
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons (well stirred) sesame tahini (I chose the roasted kind)
1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
1/4 cup canola oil

In a blender or food processor, whirl the first six ingredients until smooth and well blended. With the machine running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream, and process until emulsified. The vinaigrette keeps, refrigerated, up to two weeks in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature and whisk before using.


Filed under recipe, salad, side dish