Let’s be real: for homecooks simple is best. And most of Ina Garten’s recipes are fool proof and absolute crowd pleasers.
There is one vinaigrette dressing I’ve used for years and everyone always asks for the recipe — it really is, that tasty so I thought I would share.
Ina Garten’s Vinaigrette
Enough for a a salad that feeds 6-8 people
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup good olive oil
In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, garlic, vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. While whisking, slowly add the olive oil until the vinaigrette is emulsified.
Place the salad greens in a medium bowl and add enough dressing to moisten. Sprinkle with a little extra salt and pepper, if desired, and serve immediately.
My favorite variation is this lazy salad I throw together:
1 English cucumber / Japanese kyūri
Basket of grape tomatoes or 2 medium tomatoes
1 stalk of celery
1/2 medium red onion
Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper
Good olive oil
Chop all the vegetables into rough bitesized pieces, doesn’t have to be perfect. The chunky vegetable pieces are all different colors and blend together nicely.
Peel the cucumber but leave some of the skin on, halve and scoop out the seeds. Then slice into half moon pieces or halve the half cucumber and slice into triangle like pieces. Halve the grape tomatoes. (If I only have whole tomatoes, I scoop out the seeds and cut into triangles — imagine bruschetta tomato pieces). The red onion I julienne or dice depending on my mood.
Throw all the chopped vegetables in a bowl. Pour about 4-5 tbsps of champagne vinegar (I think, sorry I don’t measure), one big pinch or small mound in the palm of salt, fresh ground pepper, 2/3 c. of olive oil over vegetables, toss and adjust taste accordingly.
It only takes about ten minutes to prepare and it’s so delicious, I can eat the entire bowl on my own. Make sure to use champagne vinegar, Kosher salt, a really good olive oil and fresh ingredients… otherwise the salad won’t be good.
*Added: Follow-up piece on why champagne vinegar is a must-have item in your pantry