The Daily Dish: Basic Vinaigrette

Basic Vinaigrette

Basic Vinaigrette

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A basic vinaigrette is a whipped concoction of vinegar and oil. When done well, the vinaigrette lightly coats fresh garden greens and nudges them towards greatness. While this recipe is very easy, it is important to get it right so that you don’t end up with a glunky sauce over your delicate lettuces!

You’re going for a balanced seasoning to enhance the flavors. This dressing is best used shortly after mixing, but if it sits a day or two (covered and refrigerated), add a few teaspoons of vinegar to brighten the flavors again.

Yield: about 2 cups

Ingredients
½ cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, smooth or grainy
1 small shallot, minced
1 ½ cups extra virgin olive oil
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, and shallot.

While vigorously whisking, pour 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil into the mix and whisk until well incorporated. Continue whisking.

In a thin, steady stream whisk in the remaining oil. Season with salt and pepper.

(Courtesy: Yankee Magazine)

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Annie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine’s food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.

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The Daily Dish: German potato salad

german potato salad

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Who doesn’t love a good potato salad? Well, here is my twist on the classic: Insalata Patate Tedesca. Serve it with a refreshing glass of Bastianich Rosatto. It’s the perfect pairing.

Recommended equipment
A heavy-bottomed skillet or sauté pan, 10-inch diameter; a large bowl for dressing, tossing, and serving.

Ingredients
2-½ pounds red potatoes
1 cup finely chopped scallions
¾ cup sweet pickles (about 4 ounces), coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces slab bacon, cut in ½-inch pieces
3 tablespoons German-style mustard
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions
Put whole, unpeeled potatoes into a pot with 2 to 3 quarts cold water, enough to cover them by a couple of inches. Bring the water to a gentle boil, and cook the potatoes until a knife blade pierces them easily to the center — but don’t let them overcook, split, or get mushy.

When done, drain the potatoes in a colander, peel them as soon as they’re cool enough to handle, and slice into 1-inch cubes. Immediately toss the warm cubes in a bowl with the chopped scallions and pickles and 1 teaspoon salt.

Meanwhile, put the olive oil and bacon pieces in the skillet, and set it over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the bacon has rendered its fat and starts to crisp, 4 minutes or so.Whisk in the mustard and vinegar, and heat to a boil. Continue whisking until the dressing is smooth and emulsified, then pour it over the warm potatoes and toss. Sprinkle over it the chopped parsley, grinds of black pepper, and remaining teaspoon salt. Toss well, and serve right away.

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lidia bastianichLidia Matticchio Bastianich was born in Pola, Istria, on the northeastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. She is a cookbook author, restaurateur, and TV chef extraordinaire. Watch Lidia’s Italy Saturdays at 1:30pm on WGBH 2 or Sundays at 4pm on WGBH 44.

The Daily Dish: Farro salad

The key to this hearty salad is the ancient Italian grain farro. You could substitute with brown rice, spelt, or even barley, but farro is pretty easy to find and it is more flavorful. Now that I know about it, I cook up a batch and add it to salads all the time.

Ingredients
3 cups cooked farro (substitute with barley or spelt)
4 to 5 sun- or oven-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
6 to 8 basil leaves, roughly chopped
2 to 3 scallions, finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon red-wine or balsamic vinegar

Directions
In a medium bowl or zip-top bag, combine ingredients until well mixed.

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Annie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine’s food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.

The Daily Dish: Scallion and asparagus salad

By Lidia Bastianich of Lidia’s Italy

Serves 6

Ingredients
1-1/2 pounds fresh asparagus
3/4 pound scallions
1-1/2 teaspoons salt or more if needed
3-1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Freshly ground pepper to taste
3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled

Cooking the Vegetables
Snap off the hard stubs at the bottom of the asparagus stalks—they’ll break naturally at the right point. With a vegetable peeler, shave off the skin from the bottom 3-inches or so each stalk so they cook evenly.

Trim the root end of the scallions and the wilted ends of the green leaves. Peel off the loose layers at the white end, too, so the scallions are all tight, trim, and about 6-inches long.

In a wide deep skillet bring one quart of water (or enough to cover the vegetables) to a boil and add the asparagus and scallions.

Adjust the heat to maintain a bubbling boil and poach the asparagus, uncovered, for about 6 minutes, or more, until they are tender but not falling apart and cooked through but not mushy. To check doneness, pick up a spear in the middle with tongs: it should be a little droopy, but not collapsing.

As soon as they are done, lift out the vegetables with tongs and lay them in a colander (any fat asparagus spears may take a little longer so leave them in a few minutes more). Hold the colander under cold running water to stop the cooking. Drain briefly, then spread on kitchen towels and pat dry.

Making the Salad
Slice the asparagus and the scallions into 1-inch lengths and pile them loosely in a mixing bowl. Drizzle over the oil and vinegar over, sprinkle on ½ of the teaspoon salt and several grinds of black pepper. Toss well but don’t break up the vegetables.

Quarter the eggs into wedges and slice each wedge into 2 or 3 pieces; scatter these in the bowl and fold in with the vegetables. Taste and adjust the dressing. Chill the salad briefly, then arrange it on a serving platter or on salad plates.

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lidia bastianichLidia Matticchio Bastianich was born in Pola, Istria, on the northeastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. She is a cookbook author, restaurateur, and TV chef extraordinaire. Watch Lidia’s Italy Saturdays at 1:30pm on WGBH 2 or Sundays at 4pm on WGBH 44.

The Daily Dish: Tomatoes and panzanella

By Lidia Bastianich of Lidia’s Italy

They’re red. They’re round. They’re juicy and delicious, and you’ve just got to have them! Tomato-time is here!

I know you know how to make a great tomato salad, but how about a panzanella? No, it’s not a dance. It’s a great, yet simple, Tuscan tomato-bread salad. It’s a great way to use day-old bread and save yourself a little dough!

Ingredients
Tomatoes
Day-old crusty bread
Cucumber
Red onion
A few fresh basil leaves
Extra virgin olive oil
Wine vinegar
Salt and pepper

Directions
Cut your juicy tomatoes and day-old, crusty bread into 1-inch cubes.  Add some sliced cucumbers and sliced red onions, and top with shreds of ripped basil leaves. Dress with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and wine vinegar, add some salt and pepper to taste, and toss all together well.

Let it steep for 30 minutes and you’ve got yourself a great salad that will compliment any summer dish – grilled chicken, fish, meat, or even on its own with a piece of cheese will do.

And do as I do!
Pair your panzanella with a refreshing glass of Bastianich Rosato. Not only do the colors go beautifully together, but the bright acidity and berry flavors in the wine pair perfectly with the tomatoes.
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Lidia Matticchio Bastianich was born in Pola, Istria, on the northeastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. She is a cookbook author, restaurateur, and TV chef extraordinaire. Watch Lidia’s Italy Saturdays at 1:30pm on WGBH 2 or Sundays at 4pm on WGBH 44.