Tuesday, December 23, 2014


Eastside Road, December 20, 2014—
SINCE TONIGHT'S DINNER is a repeat of the soup from a couple of days ago, and since it was followed as so many of our dinners are by the tossed green salad, I thought I'd just remind you, as if you wanted the reminder, how I go about making my vinaigrette:

IMG_7544.jpgSmash a clove of garlic with the right amount of salt.

We use good salt from the Ile de Ré. The right amount will make a nice creamy paste.
Yes, that's a bit of the green shoot in there — I try to avoid them; some people find them bitter.
IMG_7546.jpgAdd the right amount of olive oil; certainly enough to cover the garlic.

Let this stand while you eat your dinner.
IMG_7549.jpgWhen you're ready to serve the salad, add the right amount of vinegar. Most vinaigrette recipes specify a ratio of vinegar to oil, but I think the proportion varies depending on the strength and acidity of each component. Experiment.
IMG_7550.jpgUsing the fork you smashed the garlic with, emulsify the vinaigrette. I simply whisk the fork back and forth horizontally, always leaving the tines under the surface. You don't want air in the vinaigrette, just the four sacred ingredients: garlic, salt, oil, vinegar.

(Of course you can substitute lemon juice for vinegar.)
IMG_7552.jpgFinally, add the greens and croutons (if you're using them) to the bowl and toss the salad, using your hands if no one's looking, or two forks if you're squeamish.

I can't eat salad without a slice of bread.

Water, not wine, with salad!

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