Chef’s tidbits: Versatile vinaigrettes

This month I’m going to talk about vinaigrettes. There has been some controversy as to whether a vinaigrette should be classified as a mother sauce or not? The five mother sauces being tomato, espagnole, velouté, béchamel and hollandaise, I will go over each of these at a later time.

The reason that a vinaigrette might be classified as a mother sauce is that it is so versatile. It can be used as a marinade, a dressing, a sauce and many more applications. Especially with a version that has been emulsified. The standard ratio for a vinaigrette is 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. Depending on what I am striving for I often use fruit or vegetable juice in the vinaigrette along with the vinegar.

Here are a list of ingredients just to name a few: Extra virgin olive oil, pure olive oil, pomace olive oil, sesame oil, grape seed oil, hazelnut oil, coconut oil, canola oil, red wine vinegar, sherry vinegar, apple cider vinegar, orange, lemon, lime and pomegranate juice, Dijon mustard, honey, bountiful herbs and spices are all but a few of the ingredients that can be added. Here is a simple recipe for your enjoyment.

Orange sesame vinaigrette

2 cups sesame oil

2 cups orange juice

1 cup honey

1 cup rice wine vinegar

½ cup Dijon mustard

½ cup lemon juice

1 T. tamarind paste

Zest of 2 oranges

Salt-n-ground white pepper to taste


Start with the Dijon mustard in the food processor, add sesame oil then remainder of ingredients.

Option: substitute sweet chili sauce for the honey (just for a kick!) Cover, date and refrigerate for up to one month. Enjoy!!!

-Darrin Hauser, Executive Chef

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