Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

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Last night, after my parents joined us on a pleasant sojourn to the Reid Park Zoo, we all came back to the house. My parents were supposed to leave for their hotel by the airport around 7pm, but I figured they'd need something to eat on top of the rich and wonderful lunch they bought me and Kim at Cafe Poca Cosa.

So I made my first salad ever! Two bags of Trader Joe's organic greens, seedless red grapes sliced in half, apple slices, various red chile peppers from our garden, and a can of tuna in olive oil, all with freshly crushed peppercorns on top.

For the dressing, I used a recipe in Sarah Leah Chase's Pedaling Through Burgundy Cookbook (p. 62) as my template. That book, and its companion Pedaling Through Provence is one of my favorites, for its readability and the way it shows you how to improvise on a traditional recipe.

Because Chase tells you how she changes recipes to suit her taste and ingredients, you feel empowered to do so.

Here's my improvised vinaigrette, then:

8/10 of a cup of extra virgin olive oil
2/10 of a cup of white truffle infused olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
3/4 teaspoon of honey mustard (I used the Honeycup brand)
3/4 teaspoon of Coleman's dry mustard

You let the mustard break apart in the solution, then whisk it up. You need to keep whisking or shaking it, of course, like any dressing.

It made for a superbly tasty salad, if I do say so myself.

Chase's recipe, BTW, called for Dijon mustard only, a little more salt, white wine or champagne vinegar only, and mostly vegetable oil instead of olive oil. And she give you the option of using an egg yolk, which I might try sometime.

Mine came out more like a sweet and sour dressing, which was my intention.
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