It is high summer and that means that there is a need for dishes that are better eaten warm than hot, for desserts that can be prepared the day before and enjoyed the next day, for refreshing drinks that will replenish and refresh you, all using the summer’s best ingredients.
So here we have it, a summer lunch just as good whether it is eaten warm or cool. Just a recipe suggestion for an easy and basic salad vinaigrette to which you can add different vinegars, use local honey and a mild mustard instead of the Bavarian sweet mustard that I used together with the Dijon mustard. Or add different kinds of herbs from your garden, think parsley, tarragon, basil…go where your mood takes you.
A fresh summer salad and a tangy vinaigrette go hand in hand, as you can hardly enjoy one without the other. Vinaigrettes should lightly coat a salad without overwhelming it. But a good vinaigrette can do so much more. It can enhance the flavors of the ingredients or add another dimension altogether. It can bring together different elements as well as provide much-needed moisture to drier ingredients.
It is easy and fast to make your own from scratch, and a homemade vinaigrette tastes so much better than store-bought. Plus, by mixing your own, you take control of the flavor balance - think acidity, sweetness, and seasoning - as well as what goes into it, so you can avoid undesired ingredients.
A summery salad topped with a zingy vinaigrette, a lovely local cheese and toasted bread slices make for a wonderful lunch when the weather heats up.
Here, I just added the vinaigrette to my yellow and green French beans to serve alongside some boiled new Baby potatoes (leave that skin on when boiling), French sea salt, Gorgonzola dolce, local bread, and some raspberries that we picked that day...
When dressing beans with a vinaigrette, make sure that they are dry and cooled before you add the vinaigrette. If you prefer a more tangy bean salad with a more acid overtone, dress the beans with the vinaigrette sans the oils while they are still warm and THEN add the oils to the cooled beans – you will end up with a vinaigrette that has a more pronounced vinegar flavor and that will not look quite as emulsified but that´s is definitely just as delicious.
Basic Vegetable Salad Vinaigrette
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1tsp Bavarian sweet mustard (if you cannot find it at your supermarket, deli, or online, you can sub a mild grainy mustard and then add a tsp of mild runny honey)
- 3½ tbsp sunflower oil
- 3½ tbsp mild olive oil
- fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- freshly cut chives OR other soft herbs such as Italian (flat leaf) parsley, tarragon or basil
- Whisk together the white wine vinegar and mustards in a bowl until smooth and well combined.
- Gradually whisk in the sunflower oil and olive oil until the mixture has thickened and is glossy.
- Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- To serve, drizzle the vinaigrette over the summer salad/cooked vegetables and mix well to coat the vegetables.
- Divide equally among serving plates.
Feel free to dress your potatoes, tomatoes, fennel, salad greens, asparagus, peas, or radishes - a summery vegetable salad is meant to be easy, good-natured food for the dog days of summer.
When preparing this just remember to use the best of summer-season vegetables, fruits and herbs and enjoy what nature has to offer us these days. And do not forget about that favorite cheese of yours, maybe from a local producer, and your favorite bread from the bakery in your neighbourhood.
That last plate looks utterly fabulous, healthy, and must be eaten w/
a glass of nice Cabernet!
Colorful, amazing photos. xxx
Kim, summertime always seems to beg for colors and veggies and all that is seasonal.Delete
Thank you very much for your kind comments, dear friend!
Wow! what a wonderful day at the market. Love all the bright color and texture. Such a beautiful plate at the end. Summer at its finest.ReplyDelete
Cheri, nothing is quite as fun as going shopping for tons of veg and fruits and herbs at your favorite market, greengrocer, healthfood store...and then go home and get creative with it.Delete
And guess who has some Bavarian sweet mustard from his visit to Germany last summer? This sounds like a perfect summer lunch or dinner - and it is beautiful! DavidReplyDelete
David, you took some home with you - good - Bavarian sweet mustard is a mustard that I remember rather fondly from my childhood - I have always loved it...Delete
I love your salad plate and vinaigrette, unfortunately I can not find Bavarian mustard here in the States. Do you have a source?ReplyDelete
Absolutely, dear Gerlinde - here is a link - http://www.germandeli.com/Hndlmaiers-Sweet-Mustard-230mlDelete
I have been experimenting with adding Bavarian Sweet Mustard to my Vinaigrettes and it is absolutely worth buying a jar or two. By the way, I also add it to my Potato Salads - Bavarian style - together with sliced red radishes.
Lovely Salad Plate Andrea, and indeed your vegetable photographs are 'cookbook' worthy. Hope you are enjoying your summer!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Peggy! Summer is a perfect time for going totally overboard at the farmer´s market.Delete
We can find really lovely German mustards here at a couple different places. I love all your photos of these pretty summer vegetables. Your vinaigrette sounds delicious.ReplyDelete
Amy, I found a source for lovely Gerlinde to get some Bavarian sweet mustard online but I am delighted to read that you can get some German specialty mustards around where you live/shop.Delete
Hope you are taking good care of yourself and the babies!!!
Andrea I think my daugther woulod love thisvinaigrette because she loves mustard , I will make :)ReplyDelete
beautiful pictures as well. !!!
I love your philosophy for hot weather dining! Bill seems to still want the occasional meat and potatoes, but I'd be happy with this beautiful salad dressed perfectly!ReplyDelete
Yes to everything you suggested! We've been enjoying a variety of salads this weekend, and yours would be perfect for this hot, hot weather we're having.ReplyDelete
This is an interesting salad dressing ideas. very cool and gorgeousReplyDelete
vegetable salad decoration ideas