Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Balsamic, Cilantro-Lime, And Lemon Vinaigrette

 

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I used to think there was no way I could ever make my own dressing. I learned that’s so not true. Watching cooking shows and reading cookbooks taught me how easy to make your own vinaigrette. I thought I’d share my three favorites with you, Balsamic, Cilantro-Lime, And Lemon Vinaigrette.

I mix all the ingredients for the Balsamic and the Lemon, right in their own 8-ounce jelly jar. The Cilantro-Lime takes an additional step of first processing the cilantro leaves. It’s simpler, for this vinaigrette, to be made in the food processor and then transferred to a jelly jar.

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Agave nectar, honey, or granulated sugar are a few of the sweeteners you can use when making your own vinaigrettes.

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Yields 8 to 10 ounces of vinaigrette
Equipment: Food processor, blender, or an immersion blender, four 8-ounce jelly jars, small bowl

Ingredients For Balsamic Vinaigrette:
Yields: 8 ounces
2 tablespoons of finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon of freshly grated garlic
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard (substitute spicy mustard)
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of Agave nectar (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)

Ingredients For Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette:
Yields:
10 ounces
1 cup of fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 tablespoon of garlic, freshly grated
2 tablespoons of shallots, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons of Agave nectar (substitute 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 *E.V.O.O.

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

Directions For Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette:
Start by placing cilantro leaves into a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add 2 tablespoons of *E.V.O.O. (the remaining olive oil will be added through the feeding tube) and pulse the leaves until they’re finely minced. Remove the processed cilantro and transfer to a small bowl. Back in the food processor add the ginger, garlic, shallots, fresh lime juice, Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, agave nectar, and low sodium soy sauce. Pulse all the ingredients just enough to combine everything.

Once combined, add the processed cilantro leaves back into the food processor. Place the lid and feeding tube on. Turn the processor to the ON position and slowly add the remaining *E.V.O.O. through the feeding tube until combined. Remove the lid, add the red wine vinegar and using a spatula, stir once. This recipe yields 10 ounces of vinaigrette so you’ll need 2 jars. Transfer the vinaigrette to the jars, place the lids on tight and give a good couple of shakes to combine everything.

Directions For The  Balsamic And Lemon Vinaigrette:
Add all the ingredients for, both of, the vinaigrette into their 8-ounce jelly jars. Finish with the *E.V.O.O. Place the lids tightly on the jars and shake really well.

Notes:
1). I prefer my vinaigrette to be one part acid to two parts oil.
2). Place the dressing in the bottom of the bowl first. Right before serving the salad, add the lettuce/greens, toss to coat.
3). It’s important to wash and then dry the leaves really well so the dressing will adhere to the leaves.

*E.V.O.O. is extra virgin olive oil.

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Haricots Verts With Toasted Almonds

 

Haricots Verts With Almonds

Being a lover of all types of beans, I’d have to say the most elegant of them all is the Haricots Verts. These are the fancy French-style string beans you may see served alongside an extravagant entrée in a restaurant. Not any more! Haricots Verts are available in most grocery stores today.

Recipe for my Haricots Verts With Toasted Almonds pairs perfectly with chicken, fish, pork, or steak and is super delicious.

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Total Time: 19 minutes
Yields: 2 to 4 servings
Equipment: 3-quart saucepot, colander, 12-inch sauté pan, large mixing bowl, large serving bowl

Ingredients:
1 pound of Haricots Verts, trimmed
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 small shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup of slivered almonds, toasted
1 tablespoon of fresh dill, roughly chopped for garnish, optional

Directions:
Over medium heat add the slivered almonds in a single layer to a dry sauté pan. Heat them, stirring or tossing them frequently until they turn golden brown and start to smell around 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Start by washing the beans in a colander. Next, line the beans so all the stems are laying in the same direction, cutting off (the ugly end) the tops. After they’re all cleaned, place all the green beans in 3 quarts boiling salted water to *blanch for 2 to 3 minutes. Using a pair of tongs or spider, transfer the beans immediately into an *ice bath. This will shock the beans, stopping the cooking process and set their vibrant green color.

When the beans no longer feel warm to touch, drain in a colander and dry thoroughly with paper towels.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add olive oil, swirl to coat. Add sliced shallots and sliced garlic, Kosher salt, and black pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until shallots are translucent and tender.

Add the Haricot Verts, cook for another 5 minutes or until lightly charred, stirring occasionally. Add toasted slivered almonds, stir to combine.

Transfer the Sautéed Haricots Verts With Toasted Almonds to a large serving bowl. Garnish with fresh dill. Serve hot.

*blanching/to blanch is the process that stops enzyme actions which can cause loss of flavor, color, and texture. Further, it cleanses the surface of dirt and organisms, brightens the color, and helps prevent loss of vitamins.

*ice bath is a combination of water and ice. It’s used to quickly stop the cooking process, especially when blanching or parboiling ingredients.

Chicken Milanese

 

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