Andy Varela is a chef and a farmer, and he uses some of his extra herbs for making this vinaigrette. Varela owns and runs Maitland Mountain Farm in Salem with his fiancée Holly Maitland.
The vinaigrette can be used for salads or to season seafood, chicken or meat. However you use it, it is delicious and very easy to make.
If you have a variety of fresh herbs to choose from you may want to think about making a vinaigrette such as this. Use whatever herbs you have available.
A vinaigrette is a mixture of oils and vinegar that is often flavored. In this recipe it is flavored with a variety of Varela’s fresh herbs — lots of them. Fresh cilantro, parsley, sage, mint, chives and one of his favorites – anise hyssop. The leaves and lavender-blue flowers of this herb smell and taste of anise.
Making the vinaigrette is fast. The herbs and shallots will be going into the blender so it only takes a minute to rough chop them all before adding the vinegar and mustard. Refrigerate if you are not using right away.
Varela likes to serve this vinaigrette with tossed salad greens topped with fresh, sliced radishes. He garnishes with some edible flowers from his farm and decorates the plate with a spoonful of the vinaigrette. Tasting it, Varela likes “the peppery taste of the arugula with the bright acidity of the cider vinegar in the vinaigrette.”
2 medium size shallots
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
3 cups fresh chopped herbs (such as mint, cilantro, chive, oregano thyme, sage, and parsley)
1 cup canola oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Rough chop shallots and add shallots, Dijon mustard and cider vinegar in a blender. Puree until smooth.
2. Add herbs and pulse until smooth, until mixture turns bright green.
3. Add salt and pepper to the base and follow with canola oil. Immediately refrigerate and enjoy!
Recipe courtesy of Andy Varela, Maitland Mountain Farm, 2012.