Saturday, July 10, 2010

Raspberry Vinaigrette

Have you ever purchased something because the packaging was beautiful?

I try to remain a logical consumer and purchase items based on their function in my life. I didn't need a bottle of raspberry vinegar. Actually, spending $9 on anything frivolous at the grocery store feels kind of silly, kind of like I got sucked into the food marketing machine. I have still only used 2 tablespoons of the bottle of blood orange bitters I bought last fall, I mean, how many champagne cocktails can anyone really drink? But fortunately this story has a happy ending.

Last Sunday I purchased a bottle of Belberry Royal Selection Raspberry Vinegar. Fairway Grocery Stores have a whole group of their products. They sit together with other expensive chutneys and jams and vinegars. Needless to say it is a display I rarely walk up to. But I was on the market for some new vinegar. And the ruby color really caught my eye. But it was the bottle that really hooked me. It is thick and heavy with a shortish neck at a right angle to the main part of the contents portion. And the product is made in Belgium (not exactly local) and the label is printed in French or Flemish or something. I can read a little French but much of this label escaped me. This made it all the more alluring. I popped it in my cart before Thing 1 could over turn the entire display.

When I got home I opened the bottle. Immediately the smell of fresh raspberries transported me. I actually got a nice visual in my brain of a handmade basket spilling over and fresh luscious red raspberries rolling out onto the counter. The vinegar is sweet and sour, but tastes absolutely fresh as though it has little or no added sugar. There are no labels that I can read so I am a little creeped by the lack of info. But my taste buds are telling me this is okay. So I made a vinaigrette and a luscious spinach and tat soi salad. (I had never heard of tat soi either, it is kind of like chinese spinach, quite good).

Raspberry Vinaigrette
Raspberry Vinegar (maybe 2-3 tablespoons) Small squirt of dijon mustard (maybe a teaspoon, don't try to substitute yellow or brown mustard)
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive Oil to taste

In a large bowl mix the vinegar and mustard, salt and pepper together with a whisk. When you have a nice mix start to drizzle the olive oil in. Continue to whisk as you incorporate the oil. Taste often and add as much oil as you like until you get the taste you desire. Most chefs recommend a 1-4 vinegar to olive oil ratio. I like my dressings more tart and go for a 1-2 or 1-3. But this vinegar was so sweet a 1-2 was quite palatable.

Salad dressing was the first thing I learned to make that I normally bought at the store pre-made. My parents often dressed their salads with oil and vinegar, but to this day that is not my preferred dressing. At 16 I thought the idea of homemade salad dressing was revolutionary. Today, I guess I still do.

You know what else would be really good? You could puree fresh or defrosted raspberries, strain out the seeds and mix the puree with some white wine vinegar and then proceed with the recipe. Either way, this is one new dressing that I'll be making again!


  1. I have updated the post to include the actual name of the comany who produces the vinegar Belberry. I didn't realize it when I first looked.

  2. Spinach salads are my absolute favorite, and they're better for you than lettuce as well. I'm going to have to try that recipe. Vinaigrettes always go well with spinach salads.

  3. YOu taught me how to make my own dressing in college and I haven't bought a bottle since! I like my dressings much better than the bottled versions.