Okay, say the following in the voice of an upset three year old: I can do it myself! This was (still is?) me throughout much of my life. I would say ask my mom, but please don’t. She’ll be a little too happy to share stories.
For whatever reason, I have just always had this desire to figure out how to make things on my own. I finally gave up on the idea of keeping a cow to get my own milk, and cream for butter. I have also realized I can’t grow enough wheat in our suburban lot to make flour for us throughout the year. Oh well.
I did, however, figure out the secret to good balsamic vinaigrette dressing. No, I didn’t make the vinegar or the olive oil myself, though maybe someday? But I have discovered how to get the intense flavor that only balsamic vinegar can bring without feeling like my lips have been scraped across desert sand in the middle of summer.
The key is just the smallest amount of sugar. This helps offset the acidity of the vinegar and mellows it out without giving up the punch it provides. This is perfect for spinach salads with crumbles of bleu cheese or drizzled over a summer salad of tomatoes and cucumbers. Pour on a little extra and soak up it up with a hearty slice of bread at the end!
Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe
- 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pinch of granulated sugar
- 1 pinch dried oregano
- 1 pinch dried thyme
- 1 pinch dried rosemary
Put both vinegars into a small bowl. Add the olive oil in slowly while whisking briskly. Add the sugar and dried herbs and whisk in thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the herbs to flavor the dressing. Remove from the refrigerator for several minutes before using. Once the oil is nearly liquid again, shake well and drizzle over your salad.