This is salad season and we like to take full advantage of summer’s garden crops. Fresh summer vegetables are so delicious, they need an equally delicious dressing.
Our favorite is the house dressing at Spago, Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant in Beverly Hills, where the stars dine.
This time of year, when the temperatures are soaring, salads are always a welcome addition to the family table. We love to buy the season’s freshest veggies that we find at the market to make salads like the recipe in our Farmer’s Market Tour post.
Simple vinaigrettes are the perfect complement for cool, fresh raw vegetables. They are light, yet full of flavor, with just the right balance of oils, acid and seasonings to make any salad taste amazing.
Wolfgang is a master at making good dishes taste great. His recipes are sophisticated yet remarkably simple. I may have learned the art of balancing flavors from Chef Barbara Tropp, but Wolfgang taught me to never settle for mediocrity when adapting restaurant recipes for the home cook. Blending a variety of oils and vinegars together yields depth and complexity to an otherwise ordinary dressing.
Make this a part of your summer pantry and you’ll enjoy salads all season long.
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Spago House Dressing
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon sherry wine (or red wine) vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 small shallot, minced
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup walnut oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
In a medium bowl, whisk together the balsamic and sherry vinegars, mustard, shallot and thyme. Slowly whisk in the oils and when emulsified (thickened), season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate in a covered container. It will keep for 3 to 4 weeks.
When ready to use, whisk again.
Makes 1 cup
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