Vinaigrette for spinach and persimmon salad

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD


Vinaigrette for spinach and persimmon salad

There is no one right way to do anything. So it is with vinaigrettes. Mixed baby greens need a dressing very different from endive, pears, Gorgonzola, and walnuts. Arugula is best served with a simple dressing, different from a salad of spinach, Fuyu persimmons, and glazed pecans.

The main variables are the acidity of the vinegar or citrus used, the quality or type of oil, and your taste. What I have learned so far is that a good starting point for the vinegar to oil ratio is about 1:4. Imported vinegar may be stronger than domestic ones requiring a ratio of 1:5 or 1:6. 

Lemon juice or orange juice is less acidic perhaps requiring a 1:2 or 1:3 ratio. I have read that French chefs prefer more acidic vinaigrettes. 

These recipes are the clinical guidelines to use as a starting point for making vinaigrettes in your own kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons orange marmalade 
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper
  •  
  • Champagne Vinaigrette
  • (Great with endive, pears, and walnuts)
  •  
  • 6 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
  • 8 tablespoons walnut oil (deviates from all the guidelines above)
  • Salt and pepper
  •  
  • Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
  • (Works very well with arugula and takes about 2 minutes to make)
  •  
  • 1 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice (I used to get fussy about how I squeezed lemons until I saw real chefs squeeze the lemons in their hands, letting the juice strain through their fingers and capturing the seeds)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  •  (Arugula is peppery in its own right, so regular black pepper may not be needed.)
  •  
  • Classic Vinaigrette
  • (Great with any mix of baby greens, with or without additional ingredients)
  •  
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, sherry vinegar, or champagne vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoon olive oil (the 1:4 ratio)
  • Fresh herbs: parsley, chervil, marjoram, thyme leaves or basil, finely chopped Pepper

Directions

  1. Mix the shallots, salt, and vinegar and let sit for about 20 minutes. 
  2. Whisk in the olive oil then the herbs.