This post is a part of Heinen’s Kitchen Tips and Techniques series designed to give everyone the skills and confidence they need to make any recipe. Videos, photographs and descriptions were provided by Heinen’s partner, Chef Billy Parisi.
Today I am going to show you how easy and delicious it is to make a homemade vinaigrette. I can’t say enough how easy this is to prepare. The basic rule is one part vinegar to three parts oil, or, if you like a more pungent vinaigrette, then go with one part vinegar to two parts oil.
Prepping the Veggies
The first thing we need to do is knock out a little bit of prep. Let’s start with a shallot. We’ll only need about a half of a shallot. That will have plenty of flavor to add to our vinaigrette. Start by slicing it in half and then dice it into very small pieces. Once you’re done dicing, set the shallot pieces aside in a bowl.
Let’s move onto basil. You can absolutely use thyme, chives, chervil or even parsley, but basil works great in this recipe. Simply finely-mince whichever herb you choose and add it to the bowl with the diced shallot.
Adding the Emulsifiers
In case you didn’t know this, vinegar does not mix well with oil. So, to be able to bring those two together and help emulsify it, we use a little bit of Dijon mustard. Simply squeeze it right into the bowl with the shallot and basil.
Another ingredient that will help emulsify and sweeten your vinaigrette is honey, but you can also use agave nectar or sugar.
Whisking the Oil and Vinegar
Next, I’m going to pour in my balsamic vinegar. Let me say that you can always use another kind vinegar in this recipe such as red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar or white balsamic. Get creative, have some fun and make this recipe work for you.
Once you add your vinegar we are going to quickly season with salt and pepper. Then, with a whisk in one hand and oil in the other, slowly pour the oil in while whisking the vinaigrette together. Doing this will ensure that the vinaigrette becomes emulsified and looks nice and creamy without any separation of oil and vinegar.
How to Use a Vinaigrette
One of the things I love about vinaigrette is not only how easy and delicious it is, but how many different things you can use it in. Obviously, you can use it on salads, but what about pasta salads, potato salads? You can even use it as a marinade. It goes great with chicken, fish, steak or pork.
Now that I’ve got a tasty vinaigrette, it’s time to give it a taste and decide what to pair it with.