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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Homemade Vinaigrette Recipes- Lemon, Balsamic, And Cilantro Lime

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I used to think there was no way I could ever make my own dressing. I learned, that is so not true. Watching cooking shows and reading cook books showed me how easy it really is. I thought I’d share my three favorites with you. They are my lemon, balsamic, and cilantro lime vinaigrette. I mix all the ingredients, for two of the dressings, the lemon and the balsamic, right in their own 8 ounce jelly jar. The cilantro lime takes an additional step.The leaves need to be processed first. It’s simpler, for this vinaigrette, to be make in the food processor and then transfer it to a jelly jar.

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All I do is to place the leaves in a food processor with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. I turn it on and pulse the leaves until they are very finely chopped. I remove the processed cilantro from the food processor and transfer it to a small bowl. Then I add the rest of the ingredients back in to the food processor with the exception of the red wine vinegar. I then give all those ingredients a quick pulse just enough to combine everything. once combined I add the cilantro leaves back in to the food processor and give it one or two more pulses. Right before transferring the vinaigrette to the jars ( 2 jars for this vinaigrette because in makes about 10 ounces. I add in the red wine vinegar. I like adding it at the very end because it gives a slight sharpness to this particular dressing.

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I want to mention that my lemon vinaigrette can vary a little. I may or may not add grated garlic and diced shallot if my salad has a whole lot going on. But for just simple greens and nothing else, that’s usually when I utilize those ingredients. For something like a watermelon and feta salad, I’d omit those two ingredients. That’s what’s so great about making your own dressings. Depending on how or what you’re planing on using them with, you have the option to play around with the ingredients.

The first two dressings I add all of the ingredients to the jar, finishing up, by adding,really good extra virgin olive oil. I prefer my vinaigrette to be one part acid to two parts oil. I give the jars a really good shake. Next, I take the bowl that I’m serving the salad in and place the dressing in the bottom of the bowl first. Right before I’m ready to serve the salad, I’ll add the lettuce in and then toss. It’s important to wash and then dry the leaves really well so the dressing will adhere to the leaves.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Yields 10 ounces of the vinaigrette
Equipment: Food processor, or blender, or immersion blender, and 8 ounce jelly jars

Ingredients: Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon of freshly grated garlic
2 tablespoons of finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons of Agave nectar ( same,granulated sugar)
1/4 cup of low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
1/4 cup of fresh lime juice
1 cup of fresh chopped cilantro leaves
1 cup of E.V.O.O.

Ingredients: Lemon Vinaigrette
Yields: 8 ounces of the vinaigrette
2 tablespoons of finely chopped shallot ( optional)
1 tablespoon of freshly grated garlic (optional)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
2 tablespoons of Agave nectar
1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice (3 juicy lemons)
1/2 cup of E.V.O.O.

Ingredients For Balsamic Vinaigrette
Yields: 8 ounces
2 tablespoons of finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon of freshly grated garlic
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard ( spicy mustard is an option)
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of Agave nectar ( can substitute honey)
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup of good balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup of E.V.O.O.
1 tablespoon of freshly chopped Italian flat leaf parsley (optional)

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Pork Dumpling Salad With Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

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Dumplings on top of a salad, Why not!  The dressing, has to be key here, you know to compliment those delicious pasta filled packets. In my house salad night is when I take all those ingredients like carrots, arugula, grape tomatoes, that half a red onion that was in the frig, and whatever else I can find. However; in the freezer there sat right in front of me a bag of frozen dumplings. A nice cold salad with piping hot #dumplings resting on top, YUMMY!  Let me tell you about this awesome vinaigrette that’s going to be delicately drizzled all over the top.

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This dressing has a few components to it but is so well worth it. In a large mixing bowl I add freshly grated ginger and garlic. To that I put in Kosher salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and sugar. Next,  I use fresh lime juice, red wine vinegar, agave nectar, and low sodium soy sauce. Finally, I chop up fresh cilantro and throw that right in.

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Using my immersion blender, ( you could use a regular blender) I blend all the chopped cilantro up into the dressing. This really breaks the cilantro down, and releases all of its oils.  With the blender still running I slowly drizzle in extra virgin olive oil until the dressing comes together.  The vibrant green color is awesome.  I use these 8 ounce jelly jars to store the #vinaigrette. When you’re ready to use it, all I have to do it give it a good shake.  This recipe will make around 10 ounces of dressing (about 1-1/2 of these jelly jars, full) and will keep for 3 days in the frig.

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I just give a quick pan sear, on med heat, in a tablespoon of vegetable oil to the dumplings. I love that crunchy bottom that this gives to the pasta. When I see the bottoms are starting to be a nice golden brown all over,  I just add about a cup of water, place the lid on. I a cook the dumpling for a 5-7 minutes. Take the lid off and let the remaining water evaporate. This should ensure the dumplings are completely cooked. Remember, these are just frozen dumpling that I had in my frig, so really all you want to do is to follow the directions on the back of the package.

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Prep time: 5-7 minutes
Yields: 10 ounces of the vinaigrette
Equipment: an immersion blender ( regular blender)
Ingredients:
1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon of freshly grated garlic
2 tablespoons of finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon of sugar
2 tablespoons of Agave nectar
1/4 cup of low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
1/4 cup of fresh lime juice (3-4 limes)
1 cup of fresh chopped cilantro leaves
1 cup of E.V.O.O.

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