Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Basil Vinaigrette – shaken not stirred

Pin It This recipe is now in the book Alchemy: Simple Ingredients... Magical Food, under Sauce'ry

On my first ever visit to the States, our Floridian concierge recommended a restaurant “just down the block”. I wasn’t smart enough to translate that into “several miles away – you’ll need the car.” Half an hour later, my beloved and I were still walking... in pitch darkness... accompanied by a million mosquitos – I was hobbling along in high heels. Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!
Alchemy's jam jar 'Super Salad Shaker'

Beloved spotted a sign that promised Great Food! and Great Music! so we pushed open the door to the warmest friendliest of welcomes. Drinks and menus were placed in our hands. We’d be brought through to the restaurant when our meal was ready. Smart move on their part, given the restaurant turned out to be completely empty and we were the only diners for the entire evening. We were outnumbered 6 to 2 by the staff and musicians.

My low-tech garlic squisher from Provence
Tired and jetlagged, I had ordered a salad but none of the long list of sauces grabbed me. “Have you got a simple vinaigrette?” I asked. “A what?” replied the kitchen. I described the ingredients to the waitress, who came back with a tray of all the items I'd mentioned. Everyone gathered round to watch with amazement and amusement while I whisked up a vinaigrette. My first cookery demo! (Ok, so they were low on entertainment that evening.)

Vivacious Vinaigrette - shaken, not stirred

Every cook worth their salt has their own range of kitchen gadgets. I’ve decided Alchemy shouldn’t be left out. For this vinaigrette, I use my Super Salad Shaker (a jam jar with a lid) J

This recipe is now in the book Alchemy: Simple Ingredients... Magical Food, under Sauce'ry
Pin It

26 comments:

Chris's Gourmet Fashion said...

Great story, I am just imagining your face as the list went on, blue cheese, thousand island, italian (which does not resemble a real italian vinaigrette very closely), ranch, etc -- "can I just have oil and vinegar pls" Look, if they really produced all those raw material for you - you tell me where else you could get that type of service :) Only in America! BTW I love that touch of honey in your version.

Kelly said...

Wow what a great idea, this looks great! I love your recipe and will definitely be making this in the near future! :)

Three-Cookies said...

Funny story. Even today I suppose you will get the same reaction in some countries.

Serenacronin said...

Thats gas, sounds like a 'tumbleweed' experience. Great recipe, the simplest are always the best!

Parsley Sage said...

Hilarious! I swear, not all of us Americans are so sheltered :)

Great vinaigrette, well done!

Lizzy said...

Too funny! Love this story...and I will be delighted to try your vinaigrette (my preferred salad dressing, too!)

Sarah said...

Ha- love this story! And great vinaigrette- so simple and I love the basil and honey. Pretty pictures too!

The Harried Cook said...

LOL :D Great post! Sounds like they needed that lesson! :) And I love your very cool looking 'super salad shaker'...and the vinaigrette sounds yummy, especially with that honey in it! Thanks for sharing :)

Anne said...

Hester...that sounded like a great restaurant you visited! I'm surprised they didn't offer you a job! I've collected lots of super salad shakers over the years. They come in handy for so many things! This vinaigrette looks delicious! Though it looks easy to make, I was hoping you had labeled it for sale online!!! I will definitely be shaking this up for my salads this week! Great post! : )

Rosemary said...

Delightful story! I can just imagine your first cookery lesson. What a memory that evening must be for you and your beloved. Your jam jar is precious.

Divya Yadava said...

Funny story! This looks great - will have to try it out sometime.

A SPICY PERSPECTIVE said...

I just love the word vivacious!

and the dressing sounds divine. Great idea. :)

Veronica Gantley said...

What a great story. I love your vinaigrette.

kankana said...

What a fun story .. did they learned your dressing ? they should probably add that in the menu too! I love the addition of basil in this.

Jill Colonna said...

I love the tale - great service, shame about the dressing, eh? That must have been funny. I hope they paid YOU for the demo! I bet it would have been good to rub on these feet after the walk (just joking.) Lovely dressing and lovely touch with the honey.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful! I love your high-tech approach! Thanks for a great post!

Koci said...

What a cool story! Making your own tableside vinaigrette definitely sounds like a fun experience. Plus this sounds so delicious! I'll definitely be giving this a try next time I whip up a salad.

Maureen said...

LOL I did the same thing in Paris. I asked how far it was to this restaurant and was told just half a kilometre. We walked and walked and I asked directions again and again, always it was half a kilometre. We never found it. We stopped at another place for dinner.

The next day we were in a cab going somewhere and said, "oh that's where we had dinner last night" and next door was the place we wanted but because of the curve in the road and the trees we didn't see it.

I always use jars for mixing. I couldn't live without my "tools".

Manu said...

Hahahaha so funny! You made me smile Hester! I love your vinaigrette and above all your little jar with the label... so CUTE!!! <3

suzy eats said...

i love this. it looks like a great idea and looks so yummy.

Lilly said...

What a great super salad shaker! Everyone should have one =)

Rosita Vargas said...

Super delicious vinaigrette very well done I love the garlic is beautiful, hugs hugs.

Mother Rimmy said...

This is too funny! Great minds think alike, but my recipe uses yogurt for a creamy twist. Can't wait to try yours. This time of year we can't afford to waste fresh basil! I love your first cooking demo. Perfect!

Dee at Deelicious Sweets said...

What a cool story!! I love a fresh, healthy dressing. Shaken not stirred of course :)

Tiffany said...

LOVE the super salad shaker!!!

Val said...

There's no doubt that if you love vegetables and want to actually distingush between the lettuce and the cucumber then a simple, classic vinaigrette is best. I love the addition of basil in your's and way to go for showing them how simple is done!