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What Is a Vinaigrette?
In its simplest form, a vinaigrette is a mix of oil and vinegar—something to dip our bread in, or toss as dressing in our salads. Typically, a vinaigrette has a ratio of three-parts oil to one-part vinegar. But vinaigrettes are varied and versatile. They can be made with myriad ingredients, and put to nearly endless uses.
Chef Thomas Keller’s Emulsified Vinaigrette Recipe
Mise en place
- 1 egg yolk, raw*
- 2.5 grams garlic
- 10 grams shallots, minced
- 1 gram fresh thyme
- 375 grams olive oil
- 100 grams balsamic vinegar
- Dijon mustard (to taste)
- *Ingredient note: If you’re uncomfortable eating raw egg, you can make the emulsified vinaigrette without the egg, as the mustard acts as the binding agent.
- Chef’s knife
- Cutting board
- Mixing bowl
- Rasp grater
Chef Keller says not to be confined by rules. He encourages you to balance and season your vinaigrettes to your taste, and to experiment with different oils and vinegars, like apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar, and fresh herbs.
If you’d rather use citrus as your acid instead—lemon juice or lime or grapefruit, to name just a few—go ahead.
Combine egg yolks, mustard, shallots, and thyme leaves in a mixing bowl. Begin drizzling in the oil while whisking constantly. Continue doing so until the ingredients begin to emulsify. A single egg yolk can absorb a large quantity of oil.
Drizzle in vinegar and continue whisking. Taste as you go, and adjust the flavors to your liking.
A vinaigrette can be stored in your refrigerator in a sealed container for a week.