White Balsamic Vinaigrette

To me, “white balsamic vinegar” is a bit of a misnomer as one of the things that gives balsamic vinegar its particular flavor is the succession of barrels it goes through over time. The white balsamic version is lighter and subtler than regular balsamic vinegars, and makes a nice dressing or sauce when you want to complement more delicate flavors.

1 peeled clove garlic
1 pinch each salt and fresh ground black pepper
1/8th teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
1 small shallot, peeled and minced (½ teaspoon)
1 teaspoon sweet-hot mustard (a.k.a. honey-mustard, Ingelhoffer and Beaver both make excellent versions)
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
6 tablespoons grapeseed oil or other neutral flavored oil

Rub a non-reactive bowl with the garlic clove, smearing the inside with garlic oil.

Add the salt, pepper, thyme and shallot to the bowl, then add the vinegar. Wait 5 minutes for flavors to meld.

Add the mustard and whisk to mix thoroughly.

Stream the oil slowly into the bowl, whisking vigorously all the while to incorporate the oil. You may not need all the oil as the mustard thickens the dressing also. Add the oil until the dressing is thickened or you run out of oil. Taste for balance. If the dressing is too sharp, add a little more oil.

Keeps 1 week or more in refrigerator.

YIELD: ½ cup

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