Warm weather is coming, and that means (sadly) a goodbye to those rich winter dishes I like so much. However, my favorite fruits and veggies are of the summer variety, so seeing all the color at the grocery stores makes me very happy. 🙂 And yes, people in France shop at the grocery stores. I don’t know of anybody who goes to the local market everyday for their groceries.* This does not apply to butchers. I’ve found that people are very serious about having a butcher. 😛
Anyway! For all those salads I’m going to be having, I always have a little jar of vinaigrette on hand. 3 basic ingredients, and sometimes a little extra for fun.
Because you’re only using three ingredients, the taste of each individual component is important. I’ve made this with some aged balsamic vinegar my sister has (just a salad’s worth!) and a little went a long way.
The mustard is most important for me, as I don’t like so much heat in my dressing. I try to buy a “semi-strong” mustard here in France (they come in strengths! :P). The benefit of a milder mustard is that you can add more to the recipe, and create a thick emulsion without making your eyes water. You can switch out the vinegar for another type (red wine is common), and even use a milder oil – I like the taste of olive oil, so I’ll stick with that. Sometimes I add a spoonful of honey. I recently made this with a spoonful of chestnut honey and I found that deeee-lightful on carrot salad.
Simple Vinaigrette Recipe
- Dijon mustard
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Olive Oil
- honey – optional
- Put everything in a jar, cover, and mix!!!
Sorry I have no measurements. If you look at my picture you will notice I don’t fill my jar all the way in the beginning. I start off with a tablespoon or so of mustard, then add the vinegar and oil on a 1:1 basis. Shake up, taste, then tweak if necessary. If not measuring is good enough for my grandma, it’s good enough for me. And hey, at least I gave you a ratio! I remember having my grandma on the phone and asking how many onions to add to a recipe. “The necessary,” she responds. ❤
*A quick sidenote on French outdoor markets. Often in France, outdoor markets sell the same produce as grocery stores. Meaning: shipped in from other countries & with a heavy mark-up compared to what you’d get in the grocery store. You can see the place of origin listed under the produce name. So double check before you buy! There is no reason to pay 2x as much for something that’s been frozen and shipped across the world. I do like buying cheeses, honey, and other goodies at markets though. And there *are* some local producers in markets, you just have to look for them.