Walnut Vinaigrette

After seeing a tasty looking antipasto salad, I felt inspired to try my own. It was, unfortunately, mediocre at best. Why did this happen?

The ingredients were a good combination, and the dressing that I made turned out to be very tasty, but, my Italian style salad and my French style dressing did not fit together well.

In my antipasto salad I had salami, sharp provolone, thinly sliced red onion, romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce and roma tomatoes. Yum! But not with my delicious salad dressing unfortunately!

Vinaigrette dressings come in all flavors. I added walnuts to mine to make the flavor more full and rich. The vinaigrette would have worked much better dressed over endive or escarole and goat’s cheese; simple but still flavorful, not like my salad which had so many different elements and the dressing just got lost.

Walnut Vinaigrette
Makes about 1 and 1/2 cups of dressing

Ingredients
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp whole grain mustard
1/2 cup of shelled walnut pieces

Blend together vinegar, salt, pepper, mustard and walnut pieces until the walnut pieces are finely chopped. My Cuisinart food processor makes easy work of this. Next, while the Cuisinart is turned on, slowly add the olive oil down the chute so that the mixture emulsifies. This means that the dressing will not be separated, like water usually separates from oil. It will all be blended together nicely.

When serving a salad to company, make sure that all of the leaves are lightly coated with dressing. The easiest way to do this is to mix the salad well with gloved hands.

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