May 15, 2013 in Food

DIY vinaigrettes built on classics

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Cookbook

Review

“Vinaigrettes and Other Dressings: 60 Sensational Recipes to Liven up Greens, Grains, Slaws, and Every Kind of Salad”

By Michele Anna Jordan. (Harvard Common Press, $16.95, 182 pages)

Quick look: Since I learned how easy it is to make my own vinaigrettes, I am always disappointed in the flavors of salad dressings that come from a bottle. Michele Anna Jordan’s new book could ruin you for store-bought dressings, too. What better time of year to do it?

More than half of the recipes in the book are nothing more than different takes on the classic vinegar-and-oil combination. Walnut, bloody mary, blood orange, bacon maple and zinfandel vinaigrettes are all in there. There are classic, creamy salad dressing recipes, as well, alongside marinades and sauces.

Jordan is the author of 16 books, including the award-winning “California Home Cooking” and “Salt and Pepper.” She is a food columnist for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat and a former critic and columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle.

What’s inside: Each of the recipes include a short flavor profile – savory, warm, spicy, creamy, tangy, tart and fragrant are choices – and a list of best uses to get you thinking about the perfect greens and other ways to use the dressing. There are also storage tips and fast facts about ingredients.

What’s not: Don’t expect a salads book. Although there is a short section of greens, grains, slaws, potato and pasta salads recipes near the end, the book is very narrowly focused on the combinations of oils, herbs and vinegars that it takes to make a great dressing.

Featured recipe: Look inside today’s Food section on page C3 for the recipe for Persephone’s Pleasure Pomegranate Vinaigrette from the book.

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