I grill year round and eat salads whether it’s June or January. With the season for dining “al fresco” and eating greens grown in our own gardens upon us, writing a post with accent items seemed fitting. “Vinaigrettes & Compound Butters” are quick and easy ways to elevate your dining while giving you more time outside and spending less in the kitchen.
It seems very appropriate to send this out right now as my vegetable garden is surpassing the amount of greens we can actually consume. Spinach, Chard, Arugula, Sorrel, Lettuce and Mizuna are going crazy. Love it. But dressings and vinaigrettes have never been a strong point for me. Laziness would definitely figure largely. So I tracked down some easy recipes with ingredients readily available so minimize any excuses.
This is my own and my regular go to. You can easily change it up by adding rinsed capers/ minced garlic or finely chopped shallot. Lemon zest is another item to add a bit of zip.
- ¼ Cup Olive Oil
- Juice of half a lemon
- ½ to 1 tsp Dijon Mustard, personal taste dependent
- Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Whisk the ingredients together and pour over the salad. Voila!
Creamy Garlic Vinaigrette
Courtesy of Bobby Flay
- 15 medium unpeeled garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/8 teaspoon Tabasco
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 375°. Set the garlic on a sheet of foil, drizzle with the olive oil and wrap up; roast for 30 minutes, until soft.Step 2
Squeeze the garlic from its skin into a blender. Puree with the vinegar, water, mustard, mayonnaise, honey, Worcestershire and Tabasco; slowly add the canola oil and puree until the dressing is creamy. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Honey Lime Dressing
courtesy of Ed Schoenfeld and Fine Cooking
This would work very well with a salad of mesclun greens, herbs such mint, basil and cilantro plus tomatoes and green onions.
- 2-1/2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
- 2-1/2 Tbs. honey
- 2 tsp. fish sauce
- 1/8 tsp. minced garlic
- 2 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh red or green chile or both (optional)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a small bowl, whisk the lime juice, honey, fish sauce, garlic, and chile, if using. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Courtesy of Michele Anna Jordan
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 oil-packed anchovy, drained and mashed
- Kosher Salt
- 3 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tsp honey, warmed slightly
- 2 Tsp Dijon mustard
- Fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 Tbsp on chopped mixed herbs such as flat leaf parsley, chives, oregano, marjoram, thyme
- ½ cup olive oil
Put the shallot, garlic and anchovy in a small bowl, season with salt and stir in the vinegar. Let sit for 15 to 20 min.
Add the other ingredients with the olive oil last and whisk thoroughly. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Compound butters are mixtures of butter and supplementary ingredients. Primarily, they are used to enhance flavor in various dishes, in a fashion similar to a sauce. Doesn’t sound remarkable but they can raise a simple dish to a higher level in an instant. And the combinations are infinite. It can be the basic addition of a single herb, a spice or premium items such as crab, lobster, truffles…
Some swear by unsalted butter with the thinking you salt it yourself to the level you like it. I don’t find commercial butter to be very salty at all and in fact typically add more. Let your palate dictate.
Once the butter is soft, blend in ingredients for whichever version you’re making. Use a fork or spatula depending on the fragility of what you’re adding.
Transfer the flavored butter to a piece of plastic wrap, form the butter into a log and wrap it well. Chill for 2 hours before cutting into pieces for serving.
The simplest and probably the most versatile. Serve it over meat, fish or vegetables.
1 stick butter
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (such as parsley, tarragon, chervil and oregano)
½ teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
Smoked Paprika and Rosemary Butter
1 stick butter
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon salt
Great on many things you’d grill such as steak, salmon, prawns, etc. And a match made in heaven for corn on the cobb.
1 stick butter
4 minced garlic cloves
8 anchovies packed in oil, drained and minced
1/2 teaspoon Hungarian (hot) paprika
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt to taste
Another classic with steak
This one is courtesy of Spencer Watts and is maybe the ultimate, showing off compound butter. Great for steak but whatever you choose to use this butter for, make sure you’ve bought a worthy ingredient. Mix carefully.
- 1 stick salted butter
- 115 grams/ ½ cup lobster meat
- 2 tablespoons tarragon
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon garlic
- Salt and pepper, to taste