London, May 18th 2011.- Have you been able to master the art of making a perfect vinaigrette dressing that tastes the same each time?Â If you are having problems, then there is one golden rule to remember for creating the perfect base - 3:1 â€“three parts extra virgin olive oil and one part vinegar.Â Once youâ€™ve got the hang of this, you can add any combination of herbs, spices and seasoning to suit each dish â€“ the dressing will then be ideal for drizzling over soups, roasted or steamed vegetables, for using as a dip with breads or raw vegetables or simply as a dressing for salads.
A few things to be aware of; although in theory, a vinaigrette shouldnâ€™t work â€“ the two ingredients separate in seconds after shaking - if you use the 3:1 formula, your dressing will be perfect each time. As always there are exceptions to the rule!Â Different grades of vinegar have different strengths so you may need to adjust your ratio of oil to vinegar, to taste, but if you start out at 3:1 youâ€™ll know where to go.
Remember, the key ingredient is the finest extra virgin olive oil which can be found in all local supermarkets or quality food stores - this ingredient will have the most impact on your dressing.
Oil and vinegar dressings can be drizzled over soups, vegetables, toasted ciabatta for a light snack or starter, and of course, for salads.
â€¢Â Always remember the 3:1 golden rule
â€¢Â Ingredients should be room temperature â€“ the cooler the oil the trickier it is to make this emulsion.
â€¢Â Never use an aluminium bowl to mix your dressing in â€“ the acidity of the vinaigrette can react with the metal, and give a rather unpleasant metallic taste.
â€¢Â If you wish to use lime, lemon or orange juice, itâ€™s usually better to include it with the vinegar, rather than neat with the oil.Â
â€¢Â Donâ€™t overdo the seasoning/herbs/spices
â€¢Â If youâ€™ve overdone the vinegar and itâ€™s a little too tart, then a little bit of honey rather than sugar will counter this.
â€¢Â To mix, either shake well in a sealed jar or whisk until smooth
Summer â€˜fruitâ€™ salad with raspberry vinaigrette
100g of watermelon
1 mango, diced
1 packet of blackberries
1 packet of mixed salad leaves
For the vinaigrette:
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
a pinch of salt
â€¢ Scatter the salad leaves on a plate first and then sprinkle the diced mango, the blackberries and raspberries over the leaves.
â€¢ Cut the watermelon and pineapples into large triangles and place around the salad.
For the vinaigrette:
â€¢ Crush the raspberries in a bowl, add the extra virgin olive oil, the vinegar and a pinch of salt and mix well.Â
â€¢ Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and serve
For further information contact Bernie Fennerty or Tess Robinson at Food Matters.Â Email:
or call 0207 371 6466