Cook's Corner: Vinegar is sweet addition

Published 6:54 am Wednesday, March 5, 2008

By Staff
I had several positive comments about last week's column filled with salad dressings. Following many of the comments were requests for more recipes.
For some reason over the past couple of years, I've become very fond of vinegar and oil salad dressings. A variety of vinegars and oils are out there on the shelves and can be combined in a variety of ways to make some interesting dressings.
One of my favorite bottled dressings is raspberry vinaigrette. My co-workers have heard me say that I could drink it out of the bottle so many times, they are sick of hearing it.
My best friend, Connie, gave me a bottle of strawberry vinegar in a great gift basket and I'm ready to give it a try. I tasted of the vinegar and it's pretty good all by itself.
If you prefer the vinegar and oil type dressings, this week's recipes will certainly give you something to consider.
I've decided to keep the descriptions to a minimum this week to allow more space for recipes.
Zinfandel Salad Dressing
1/3 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup red Zinfandel wine
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup mayonnaise
In a food processor or blender, combine onions, wine, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. Process until onions and garlic are pureed. Add mayonnaise and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until very cold, and whisk dressing just before serving.
This next recipe doesn't have any oil in it, but it sounds heavenly. If you like pineapple, you're bound to like this one.
Pineapple Salad Dressing
1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 garlic clove, minced
mixed salad greens
In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the pineapple juice, vinegar, cumin and garlic; shake well. Serve with salad greens. Refrigerate leftovers; shake or stir before serving.
Bell Pepper Vinegrette
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried parsley
4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
1 cup red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Choose a clean bottle or jar with a well fitting lid or cork. Put the peppers, garlic, parsley, and basil into the jar or bottle. Pour in olive oil, Italian dressing, and red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover with lid, shake well to mix, and refrigerate at least 2 days to allow flavors to develop.
Orange Mustard Vinaigrette
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 orange, juiced
2 tablespoons orange zest
2 tablespoons coarse-grained mustard
In a medium bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, orange juice, orange zest and mustard. Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator for up to one week.
The final recipe this week is one that has a little extra kick to it. Horseradish is something I enjoy and this, no doubt, would give plain salad greens a real boost.
If you don't like the heat of horseradish, you could cut it down by using half horseradish and half ground mustard seed mustard.
Horseradish Salad Dressing
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup horseradish mustard
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon black pepper
In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, mustard, olive oil and black pepper. The dressing should come out a little creamy but not too thick.
I hope that you are enjoying the recipes I share with you each week. I love to hear from you about what you've tried and how the dishes turn out.
I'd love to share some of your recipes or cooking tips in this space. If you have an idea about a collection of recipes you'd like to see in the column, please let me know. I love looking for new and unusual recipes to share with you.
Give me a call or drop by the office with your sharable information. I promise to give you credit for your submissions. You can email me at or drop by the office at 407 St. Nicholas Ave. anytime.
Until next week, Happy Cooking!