As we all know (or as every publication tells us) we should start the new year off with lighter fare. While this adage seems a bit tired, I suppose that even the strongest palate needs a break after a heavy holiday season. On this note, I would like to share the GO's vinaigrette recipe. This is a staple at the restaurant -- always dressing our Straight From the Garden Salad and oftentimes dressing seasonal specialty salads like green beans in the summer or roasted beets in the winter.
If you have never made your own salad dressing, it can be quite liberating to turn your back on expensive bottles and scary preservatives. Besides, surely you need some task to fill the void left by all that holiday baking.
This is really a classic French vinaigrette, and that’s all nice lettuce needs. Here at the restaurant, we use a hydroponic Bibb lettuce from Wes at Kurios Farms, located in nearby Moncks Corner. When available, we also use his black cherry tomatoes and gorgeous cucumbers.
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Creole mustard, or other whole grain mustard
2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 medium garlic cloves)
2 teaspoons minced shallot (about 1/2 medium shallot)
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
¾ cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Combine vinegar, mustard, garlic, shallots, and lemon juice in a food processor or blender; blend thoroughly. Gradually add olive oil and vegetable oil while machine is running. The mixture should emulsify -- come together -- into a relatively thick consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
YIELD: 1 cup
P.S. Now is the time to break out the nice olive oil – we cut it with vegetable oil so you don’t have to break the bank -- but the flavor of the good stuff really stands out!