Strawberry Vinaigrette

This fruity vinaigrette pairs well with a salad made with sturdy bitter leaves such as endive, frisee, and rocket as a contrast dressing, or as a complementary dressing for a salad of butter leaf and oakleaf lettuces, strawberries, chopped roasted almonds and a bit of crumbled blue cheese. Garnish the salad with a bit of crystallized ginger and cracked peppercorns that have been toasted in a dry pan so they lose most of the heat and get a fruity taste.

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons strawberry vinegar*
1 teaspoon agave syrup or mild honey, or to taste
1 small shallot, minced (around 2 teaspoons)
½ inch of peeled ginger, grated, juice squeezed (1/2 teaspoon or less)
1 sprig of fresh thyme, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
4 tablespoons neutral flavored oil such as grapeseed
2 tablespoons almond oil
-OR- 6 tablespoons neutral flavored oil such as grapeseed

METHOD:

In a non-reactive bowl, put all the ingredients except the oil(s) and whisk lightly to mix. Allow to sit for five minutes so flavors infuse.

Whisk oils into the vinegar, pouring the oils in a thin stream while whisking vigorously. When all the oil is amalgamated, taste for balance. Adjust as need. If anything, you may need more agave or more vinegar. If the dressing is still too sharp, try adding a bit more oil, tasting frequently.

When dressing is thick and tastes balanced, it is ready to use. Store in refrigerator and use within 5 days or the flavors will become flat.

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