how not to make a vinaigrette

As part of my continuing back to basics cooking push I’ve been doing a lot of simple salads lately.  You get those bags of green things, throw in some vegetables, make a quick dressing and you’re good.  It takes three minutes.  I’m getting hooked on this.  Salads are now more of a regular part of meals no matter what else I’m making.

So for this round it ended up being a half-spinach / half-arugula bag, a box of grape tomatoes (both generic store brand), a ball of mozzarella, and one avocado.  This will give you like four or five regular bowls of salad.  So I can make it once and eat it over two or three dinners.

The fun part is to make the random vinaigrette.  This takes about minute but invites you to customize.  I like red, white, or balsamic versions, it’s all good.

So here’s how this went down by exact brand picture, if you doubt my portion choices, just ascribe that to my own personal taste:

olive oil.jpg

1/4 cup


1/8 cup


2 Tbsp –  I love all kinds of mustard, I’ve tried like six different kinds in vinaigrettes lately


Dust to taste

So far so good, right?


Oh no.

High River Rogue.  So I love spicy food.  Some of my Indian dishes glow radioactively.  But I wasn’t going down that road here.  What I had in mind was to put a few drops into the jar to add a nice, even kick, and maybe some neat color.

I’ve used this hot sauce before on many things.  I know what it’s capable of.  I also know it has a completely open top.  There’s no dropper up there.  If you pour, it comes out quickly.

But as I grabbed the bottle to add those few drops into the jar, I think I tricked my own brain.  I think because I wanted to add just a few drops, I defaulted my brain into falsely remembering that there was a dropper on this bottle when there was not.

I turn that thing over and am shocked by the output.  I reflexed and stopped, but not before several tablespoons of this delicious fire liquid had made it’s way into the vinaigrette.  I knew this was not good.  I knew the power of this Rogue.

So my first thought, eh, dump it and make it again.  But I hate, hate to waste food.  And I’m going to be a bleached skeleton one day.  So whatever, I decided to run with it.  I closed the jar, shook it, and decided to roll as is.  The vinaigrette ended up as a light red.  This color greatly amused and pleased me.

Eating it was not as spicy as I thought.  It was relatively mild.  My lips tingled a bit, but it didn’t burn my mouth like this sauce usually does.  I figure that’s because all the vinegar and oil evened it out.  I thought I was good.  I was not.  What my mouth could handle my stomach could not.  You try sleeping with this level of heartburn.  It’s not fun.  Especially when the dogs think you’re fully awake at 1am and thus decide they can ram the bed and ask to go out.

So this did not go well.  This is not the way to make a proper vinaigrette.

So, why, why oh why do I want to try it again.  If only I dialed down the spice level, I’d still get that neat red color, without the partial poisoning.  I can make it work the next time, honest.

Eh, what’s wrong with me?

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