Saturday, February 28, 2009

Vinaigrette for Green Salad - Ina Garten

My love for Ina Garten is probably known amongst my faithful readers, but if you're new to this blog, let me be blunt: If I had to choose between being Tina Fey or Ina Garten when I grew up ... I might have to be Ina. A) The woman is gorgeous and is not afraid to eat; B) She worked for the White House before she hung it up to own a speciality food store ... in the Hamptons and C) ... she's pretty damn universally adored. Oh ... and she's a good cook. Ina represents the more gourmet and expensive version of what Shelley Bakes aspires to be ... my motto is simple recipes for lazy people. Ina believes in puff pastry - she also preaches that you get what you buy (i.e. - spend a couple extra bucks for really good olive oil - you'll taste the difference). Although I probably won't attempt some of her recipes because they include ingredients that I cannot pronounce, the majority of her recipes are wonderful and basic.

This recipe was featured in a recent Ina episode called "Turning Up the Volume." The gist of the recipe was that she was leaving Jeffrey (her adorable husband) for the evening and that she was "turning up the volume" on some of his favorite foods. The recipe featured Lobster Pot Pie (which I soooooooo want to try some weekend when Ryan's gone); Vinaigrette for Green Salad and Super Chocolate Gelato (which I refuse to try because I'd eat all of it).

For Valentine's Day, Ryan and I ordered in pizza from Valentino's, drank some wine and I attempted the vinaigrette for a quick salad.

1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. minced fresh garlic (I used a clove)
3 T champagne vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup good olive oil
Salad greens or mesclun mix for 6 to 8 people

In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, garlic, vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. While whisking, slowly add the olive oil until the vinaigrette is emulsified.

Place the salad greens in a medium bowl and add enough dressing to moisten. Sprinkle with a little extra salt and pepper, if desired, and serve immediately.

When Ina made this in her episode, she made the vinaigrette at the bottom of her salad bowl and simply placed the greens on top until Jeffrey was ready to toss the salad. Just a note - use enough salad greens - I used some leftover romaine we had in the fridge and some baby spinach - if I would have been smart, I would have used the entire bag. There was a ton of dressing on the lettuce and it was a bit more dressed than I prefer.

I really liked this dressing. It tasted very fresh and I really love garlic, so it was right up my alley. Ryan was very brave at eating a bowl of this salad, he's a Caesar salad man so this was something of a stretch.


Sweet Charity said...

Yay!! Champagne vinegar has made an appearance!!
Looks like an awesome recipe that you could use as a guide for other vinaigrettes, like you could switch out the champagne vinegar for another acid (balsamic, raspberry vinegar, and lemon juice come to mind immediately), you could add in some shallot, or fresh herbs... Ah, the salad possibilities!!
I too have an appreciation for Ina Garten- just made her chocolate cake from Food & Wine Magazine, and it turned out to be one of the best chocolate cakes I've ever had... and it was so easy!!

Katie said...

I love her recipes and the way she is about food. This is a great dressing looks like you did a great job!

Amanda said...

is it nerdy to say i was watching this episode with you? i definitely saw it, too!!!

SK said...

Not nerdy at all. And hon - you need to blog more often!