One of the treasures of summer and fall in the Hudson Valley is the array of farmers markets that dot the landscape. On Sundays, Brian and I go to Rhinebeck for their very upscale market. It is smallish, perhaps 25 vendors, but they offer incredible quality. Last Sunday one vendor had bags of wonderful mixed greens. It was salad ready to go.
For our exceptional greens, we wanted an exceptional dressing. Something beyond a simple vinaigrette. Something special that would be appropriate for the dozen flavors we had secured in Rhinebeck. We did some research in our cookbooks, and found this dressing, which was a favorite of patrons of the now-closed Lutece restaurant in New York City.
This thick dressing has a soft yellow color. It provides flavor that complements rather than over powers the greens. The recipe calls for Melfor vinegar if possible. Melfor is Alsatian honey-based vinegar and it just may not be present on your pantry shelf. We used the suggested alternative of tarragon vinegar with those teaspoons of honey.
A key feature of this recipe is the proportion of olive and peanut oils. It might seem heretical, but Chef Andre Soltner was not a fan of olive oil. Using peanut oil here contributes to the viscosity of the dressing.
Now that we’ve sampled this dressing, we can understand why it such a long time favorite at Lutece. If you try it, you’re likely to have it on your “short list” of “old reliable,” too.
André Soltner’s Lutece Vinaigrette
Yield: Serves 8
- 1 heaping tablespoon finely chopped onion
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup Melfor vinegar or tarragon vinegar
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 drops Tabasco sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2/3 cup peanut oil
In a small bowl, crush the chopped onion to a puree with a fork. Add the mustard, vinegar, 1 tablespoon water, salt, pepper and Tabasco sauce. Whisk until the ingredient bind. Gradually whisk in the olive oil and the peanut oil until the ingredients are emulsified, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Pour over a salad, toss to coat thoroughly, and serve immediately.
Source: Perfect Vinaigrettes by Linda Dannenberg
I love versatile dressings, ones that can be used on salads, cooked meats, or vegetables. This vinaigrette is all of that and more. From How to Roast a Lamb by Michael Psilakis, this dressing is a waterfall of flavors: anchovies, herbs, mustards, vinegar and more. Once assembled and whisked, the dressing is a light mustard-colored liquid studded with green islands of chopped herbs. The visual texture just begins to hint at all the flavors to come.
As a preview, tomorrow I’ll post a potato recipe that doubles down on the flavors of this vinaigrette. Next time you are in the store, hit the aisle with the herbs and stock up for this superior dressing.
White Anchovy Vinaigrette
Yield: makes 1 ¾ cups
4 white anchovies
4 shallots, thickly sliced
1 tablespoon small, picked springs dill
1 tablespoon small, picked springs parsley
8 fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dry Greek oregano
1 cup distilled vinegar
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
In a small food processor, combine the anchovies, shallots, dill, parsley and mint. Pulse until finely chopped but not pureed. Transfer to a bowl.
Add the mustard, oregano, and vinegar. Whisk together and, whisking all the time, drizzle in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Since this is broken vinaigrette, it will separate quickly. Whisk again to bring it together just before serving.
Source: How to Roast a Lamb by Michael Psilakis