Year after year, Xavier’s Vinaigrette is the number 1 recipe request from our groups. And getting it to taste like it does when you are sitting in the South of France has not been easy. For one thing, he has his own red wine vinegar barrel. This vinegar is softer, more flavorful than most anything one can purchase. Second, even the lemons seem not to be as acidic. Third, he uses almond butter made from blanched almonds and this has been hard to find in the USA. And fourth, he is always doing something just a bit different. Now that I have made all these excuses, I will tell you that if you do this as the recipe is written, you will find success. You may want to tweek a bit but your base is going to be exactly what you are expecting.
- 1 1/4 cups fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbs dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup raw blanched almond butter
- 2 1/2 cups oil (see note)
- 1 tbs salt
- Freshly ground white pepper
- Marinated Onions:
- 2 cups onion, small dice
Base: Combine lemon juice, mustard, almond butter, oil, salt and pepper. Whisk to form an emulsion. Store in refrigerator or transfer to various size jars and freeze.
Marinated Onions: Place diced onions in a jar. Pour base on just to cover, Refrigerate. It is ready to use after about an hour. Stores for 10 days to 2 weeks refrigerated.
Vinaigrette: To make the finished vinaigrette, it depends on what he wants (his words, not mine….this is like hitting a moving target). SO…ideally, you don’t make up a batch ahead of time but rather mix it up in the bottom of the salad bowl that you are using. For salad greens for 8-10 people, begin with 3-4 TBS of base, add 3-4 TBS marinated onions, a splash of good red wine vinegar (see note below) and minced parsley. Taste for acidity and seasoning and add more salt and pepper, or vinegar, or olive oil if needed.
Other ingredients you could add: minced garlic or chives or basil or pecans…..I have seen him add a diced hard boiled egg. Possibilities are endless. And you can also use the base just as it is. Once you start using it, you’ll get the hang of it.
For the oil, we use a combo usually: sunflower seed oil, olive oil, grapeseed oil. Lately I have not used the grapeseed here in the USA as it is expensive and seems to have an almost rancid taste.
This recipe makes a large amount of the base. BUT IT FREEZES. Once your base is made, parcel it out into various size jars and pop it in the freezer. #freezerpantry
Below: Place diced onions in a jar. Pour base on just to cover. Refrigerate.
MJ dishes it out about RED WINE VINEGAR
It wasn’t until I started making my own red wine vinegar that I felt like the vinaigrette was right. I know many of you have seen the vinegar barrel at Xavier’s and he is right….there is nothing like your own. Such great flavor.
I purchased my 5 liter barrel and ‘mother’ online here. I love using it and I love sharing it .If you want to try it and are close by, give me a call, or email me.
Don’t want to go to this extent? Then buy the best organic vinegar you can find, preferably one that you can see a bit of mother floating around.
MJ dishes it out about ALMOND BUTTER
The fact that the almonds are blanched i.e. no skin, makes a difference. The almond butter should be almost white. It is expensive but for what you use, it is worth it. Keep it refrigerated and use it just for your vinaigrette….no using it like peanut butter, though you will be tempted. It can be ordered online here.