« Home | Football Food - British Style » | Assembly Line Dinners? » | Americans Teaching Italian Cooking...in Tuscany » | Über Beer » | More Tips for the Best Burger » | The ultimate cheese on toast » | Google Gourmet » | Use that squash! » | Essentials for authentic Mexican food » | More Grilling Tips... » 

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 

Essential Vinaigrette

Your essential guide to salad dressing

Kathleen Purvis outlines how you can make a variety of dressings for your summer salads. She also tells us a little about the science of salad dressing, why oil and vinegar won't mix and why you need an emusifier:

Oil and vinegar don't mix -- until you emulsify them. By whisking the oil into the vinegar very slowly, beginning with single drops, you break them into tiny droplets that link together. To keep them together, you need an emulsifier, something that will coat the droplets and keep them from jumping apart again.The handiest emulsifier in the kitchen: Mustard. It's got a little lecithin, a natural emulsifier that pulls oil and liquid droplets together, but it's also made of very fine grains suspended in liquid. The fine grains coat the molecules. Other fine particles also work, according to food scientist Shirley Corriher, such as the powdered sugar in poppy seed dressing or the crushed raspberries in raspberry vinaigrette.
She ends with a variety of dressing flavors and some handy tips to keep in mind when dressing your greens.

Need something else? Learn about Vodka Tasting.