Thursday, August 20, 2009

Can an ingredient make your recipe "pop" ?

I am a little tired of all of the decorating shows where they tell you if you do this or that you can make your room "pop." It's like they can't think of anything else to say so they tell you it will "pop." I find it so irritating!

I was reading a tip about vinegar from the most recent issue of "Everyday Foods," a magazine I really love and there it was. Add a spoonful of vinegar to make the recipe "pop."

Okay, enough already. The tip is a very good one. Adding a little vinegar to a recipe will enrich and enhance the flavor. The reason given is that the acid enhances flavor. I totally agree. In my experience this is correct. I have often used vinegars, especially balsamic vinegar to enhance the flavors, but let's not go any farther with the idea of "popping" food. Popcorn pops. Enough said.

I decided that since you put up with my rant, you should be rewarded with a good and easy recipe for a healthy balsamic vinaigrette. I must admit the flavor is better when you use good ingredients.

For olive oil, I always use a cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil. I like the quality and price on the Whole Foods, 365 brand. I also like Newman's Own. If it doesn't say extra virgin, don't bother. I also think it is better if the oil is in a glass bottle. I can't explain it, I just think it is better.

And the balsamic vinegar must be from Modena. I can't explain that either but I know when you shake the bottle, if it is thicker, it is better. I am sure an Italian cook could provide a more useful explanation but I know from experience to buy only this kind.

To use, sprinkle it on salads, add a tablespoon over a vegetable stir fry or in stews and soups. Or make my balsamic vinaigrette, recipe to follow.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (Use less oil if you like a strong balsamic vinegar taste. I often use 1/2 cup.)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 basil leaves
1 large clove of garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in food processor or blender. Mix on high until it has a creamy appearance. Chill for about an hour and serve over any salad.

1 comment:

  1. I am not going to say anything unpleasant because I'm afraid you'll pop me!