A Killer Salad Dressing
Learned this one from my stepmom but I like more "intense" flavors than she does (or most people do for that matter) so I turned it up to 11.
Tarragon Mustard Salad Dressing
1/4 cup (+a little) white wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup prepared mustard (dijon, yellow, spicy, whatever)
generous grind black pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 tbsp dried tarragon
Whisk to combine in a bowl. Transfer to a jar and let stand for at least a few hours. Keeps for a week or two.
Not only does the mustard add flavor, it also helps hold the salad dressing together so the wine and oil don't separate because it's an emulsifier.
The general principle can be altered. You want less acidity? Use a milder vinegar and/or add a little sugar. You want different herbs? Just switch. In a nutshell, pick an herb (tarragon, basil, cilantro, etc.), an oil (olive, walnut, etc.), an acid (lemon or lime juice, vinegar), an emulsifier (mustard, egg), an added ingredient (garlic and shallots, finely chopped dried fruit, etc.), pepper and salt. Mix and go.
A favorite salad to use this with:
2 kirby cucumbers, sliced
a dozen grape tomatoes (roasted or not)
some white onion, sliced thin
feta or sirene cheese, crumbled
salt, pepper to taste
Mix to combine. This is good with fennel and radish or daikon, too.