- 3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/4 cup Sherry Wine Vinegar
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- 1/2 to 1 Tbs fresh basil, minced
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Mix all ingredients together
and let sit overnight.
Store in the refrigerator,
but serve at room temperature.
This vinaigrette becomes
more flavorful over time.
Tips from Chef David Cerchio,
The Nutmeg Inn, Wilmington:
The two most important
ingredients for this or any vinaigrette are the olive oil and
vinegar. We prefer either a Tuscan olive oil such as Badia, or
an Umbian olive oil such as Trevi. Both oils are cold pressed,
extra virgin, and made from 100% Italian olives. The
olive growers in these two Provinces harvest their crop
earlier than in most regions of Italy and most areas of the
world, which results in a gentle, nutty, and less acidic olive
taste which will not be overpowering (an especially beneficial
feature for cold preparations).
We always like to go
directly to the product source whenever possible, believing
that is where the best value lies. That is why we use
Vinegar de Jerez, Cepa Vieja 40-Year Sherry Wine Vinegar from
Always remember that the
optimal ratio of oil to vinegar is 3 to 1.
This flavorful Sherry Wine
Vinaigrette Dressing is also used as the base upon which to
build other variations. Depending upon what flavor we feel
will go best with the entree, or what herbs and spices are in
season, we may add any one or more of a number of ingredients.
Try to take into consideration the salad ingredients and other
items on the menu. For example, you may wish to add juniper
berries if venison is on the menu.
If you wish to experiment,
try adding some of the following herbs and spices:
- tarragon with a little
- tarragon with some orange
Be creative! Don't be
afraid to incorporate some of your favorite herbs and spices
into the basic recipe.
Another tip: We never
entirely empty the bottle of dressing. Wait until it is about
1/3 full to replenish and adjust the seasonings, herbs, and
spices. Then let it sit overnight at room temperature.
We find that allowing some of the ingredients to mature in the
bottle tends to develop a more flavorful dressing.