Champagne Vinaigrette Recipe
Someone recently asked me what my favorite food was and I had a hard time answering. I thought for a minute about what was the one food I would never want to live without and salad came to mind.
I grew up on green salad at the nightly dinner table and I’ve done the same thing. My husband was just a ranch dressing person when we married and now he’s all about the salad with oil and vinegar. We never used bottled dressing and never will, as it’s never balanced, usually has sugar which does not belong in dressing, and often too many other odd or unhealthy ingredients like canola oil. Making your own dressing is almost as easy as opening a bottle from the fridge.
My favorite way to dress salad a lot of the time is with a sharp and zesty champagne vinaigrette. All you need is a little dijon mustard, a good quality champagne vinaigrette.
As far as olive oil, you have to be careful not to use a very heavy oil that overtakes the dressing. I recently discovered the Bellucci brand and it’s everything I could ever hope for in an extra virgin olive oil.
Champagne vinegar is made from champagne and white wine vinegar is made from white wine. I find champagne vinegar to be very sharp and acidic, even though the internet describes it as a mild vinegar.
Champagne vinegar has typically 5.5 % acidity, where wine vinegar has 6 to 7%. I did a tasting of three vinegars, champagne vinegar, red wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar. The champagne vinegar came across as sharpest, but in a good way.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Champagne Vinaigrette
I am very picky about my olives oils. I use a high quality extra virgin olive oil for my vinaigrettes, where I might use something a little differently in my cooking. I love several brands and right now am hooked on Bellucci Italian Organic Olive Oil. It’s only about $19 at Whole Foods and a few weeks ago I bought six bottles when it was on sale. Look for a harvest date and location of Italian vineyards to get a decent finishing oil.
What if I don’t have champagne vinegar? You can any of the following to get that sharp vinegar taste. Do not use balsamic vinegar, as it’s not the same and is too sweet.
- Sherry Vinegar
- White wine vinegar
- Red wine vinegar
- Lemon juice, always a nice sharp substitute
How to Make a Champagne Vinaigrette
Fat, Acid, Salt
I can honestly say I make salads that people love, because I understand the umami combination of fat, acid and salt. This trio is what heightens pleasure and delights tastes buds. While the dijon mustard adds in a bit of acid, its main job is to emulsify or bring the opposing liquids together.
The secret lays in the balance of these ingredients. You not only need to balance the ratio of vinegar to oil, you have to make a decision as to how much vinaigrette to dress the lettuce leaves. Part of this is tasting. Go lightly at first, toss and salt Salting is imperative before adding more dressing. You can always add more, but not take dressing away.
There are only three ingredients in this vinaigrette. Many people think vinaigrettes have to have a long list of ingredients, when less is best and most authentic. The balance and application is much more important.
I like to start with a 1 to 4 ratio, vinegar to olive oil. The vinegar should be mixed with the mustard first and then the oil streamed in. Admittedly, I will add all the oil in and give the vinaigrette a good shake.
Storing Champagne Vinaigrette.
Place in closed mason jar and leave on counter to use for the week. If you refrigerate, the oil will solidify. No need to do that.
Try these salads that work well with a champagne vinaigrette.
Spinach Salad with Peaches
You can add in some minced shallots, minced garlic, or your favorite herb. Try placing your favorite herb such as tarragon in your jar for a few hours for real treat.
Champagne Mustard Vinaigrette
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons champagne vinegar more as needed
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- dash salt
- dasg black pepper
- Infuse olive oil with chopped garlic for 20 minutes.
- Put mustard in a jar and mix well with vinegar.
- Slowly add olive oil. Mix well.
- Add red pepper flakes.
- Season with salt and pepper.
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