Dressing a Salad. Moms way.

I absolutely love making vinaigrettes!  Since I started working the pantry station I have had to produce my own vinaigrettes as part the daily prep for my mis en place.  My mother once in a while calls me up and asks me tips on how to make a vinaigrette. My mother!  Now, when she does this it truly validates why I love to cook.  This recipe is really inspired by her and taken from her.  Mamma Dang  is starting to  appreciate my understanding of food , as well as my western influenced palate.

My lovely mom

My mom would use canola oil, rice wine vin, white onions and pepper.  I’ve added a bit more to enhance and adapt the recipe to my own contemporary palate but none the less the true essence of this vinaigrette is all KimLan’s.  Mamma Dang would use this as a dressing over butter leaf lettuce, and pan seared beef.  It was so good.  The multiple players of tartness from the vin, and the warmth brown savory goodness of the onions would emblazon the unadorned beef fillets

It is also very important to note that the onions be cut a certain way so that they can retain their flavor and their texture, because having the partial bite without the harshness of the raw onion is key.  Otherwise the nature of the pickling process would be lost.

Warm Pickled Red Onion Vin
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 Small red onion (cut into 1/3 inch wedges) or 3 med Shallots
2 T Dijon Mustard
3 T  Red Wine Vinegar
1 tsp med course ground black pepper
1/2 tsp Salt


Cut your onion in 1/2 from tip to tip not from the middle part (the fattest).  Taking 1/2 that onion now continue to slice along the grain, meaning again from tip to tip. So that you produce smaller wedges.

Put 1/2 your cup of olive oil into the pan add your onions and on your lowest heat, let the onions sit and perfume the oil.

Add all of your vinegar into the pan.  Let the onions pickle in the same pan. When onions have taken on a slightly pink hue and have pickled through but still have their bite (they will become a transparent but will not wilt) remove the mixture from the heat.

Add your mustard into a dry medium sized bowl.  Slowly whisk the room temp mixture into the mustard. Whisk vigorously in order to not let the oils seperate from the mustard.

Add the rest of your oil, add the salt and pepper.

The secret to this warm and inviting vinagrette is that the great aromas of the onions are slowly released into the oil and the vinegar to produce a truly delicious and savory tasting salad dressing.  It is STRONG yet balanced.

This dressing works great with strong chicories, and would also work really well with pork or poultry and yes even BEEF.  If using this for fish I would suggest a fish that is not too delicate.   The pepper and the mustard and the onions really work well drizzled over grilled meats.  I’ve also tried this dressing over roasted cauliflower, and it adds a wonderful level of pickled and savory flavors to cauliflower, which would make a great side dish.


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