white wine vinegar

Vinaigrette

The classic vinaigrette contains olive oil and vinegar. The proportion was once quite a definite 2:1, but even that rule is no longer followed. People have become more health conscious, there is a far greater variety of oils and vinegars available, and I think that people are thinking more about what they are doing when they are cooking. Some salads need a lighter touch than others, and garlic is no longer considered necessary in a dressing.

I would say that a classic vinaigrette is still made with virgin olive oil and white wine vinegar, with perhaps just a touch of lemon juice, so my classic vinaigrette is as follows.

3 tablespoons olive oil (virgin)
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic or 2 roasted garlic cloves (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Whisk all ingredients together, and toss over salad just before serving.

If serving more than one dressed salad in a meal, or at a party, try to vary your vinaigrettes, both in the oils used and the vinegars. Apple Cider Vinegar has pretty much replaced the standard white wine vinegar for us, so that’s what we use most of the time.

Remember too, that lemon juice is treated as a vinegar for the purpose of the exercise. Fresh herbs steeped in white wine vinegar and left in a corner of the cupboard just keep getting better and better.

Peach and Mango Chutney

Peach and Mango Chutney

This experimental recipe was inspired by the fact that Margie was hanging out for another batch of Spiced Peach Chutney and that Brisbane has had a bumper crop of mangoes due to the dry season in 2000. I simply could not bear to see all those mangoes at the top of Dublin Street rotting in the gutter.

Peaches, peeled, stoned and chopped
Green mangoes, peeled, stoned and chopped

For every 500g of combined peaches and mangoes, add:

125g brown sugar
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon ground allspice (pimento)
1 onion, finely chopped
Zest of 1 lime
Chopped flesh of 1 lime, all skin, seeds and pith removed
2 fresh long red chillies, seeded and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
100g ginger, peeled and either grated or finely sliced
½ – 1 teaspoon sea salt

Heat olive oil in a heavy based saucepan over moderate heat. Add chillies, ginger and garlic and sweat until soft. Add onion and cook until onion is soft.
Grate the zest from limes. Remove all peel, pith and seeds, then roughly dice the flesh.
Add to the pan with the peeled, stoned and chopped peaches and mangoes
In a separate saucepan, combine brown sugar and white wine vinegar and stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
Add sugar and vinegar to the other ingredients, add allspice (if using) and sea salt. Simmer for 1 hour or until mixture becomes quite tacky and has a chutney consistency.
Spoon hot mixture into sterilized jars and seal whilst hot. Store in a cool dark place until opened and then store in the refrigerator after jars are opened.

Photo by: Feast Photography