Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Hors d'oeuvres

mustard dressing looks a bit like mayo

carrot with lemon juice
This is a wonderful pairing to start a meal - hors d'oeuvres, starters, antipasti, entrees, or what have you. I favour something fresh to kick off with, and these two do the business. 

Carrot, coarsely grated, with the juice from half a lemon squeezed over it. The quantity of carrot can range from a small bowl to a large one, don't bother with more lemon, so long as you are going to let the carrot sit for a little while - the carrot juice joins in with the lemon, and there is plenty of dressing. I don't season it, because I like it as it is. If you want to add anything, just add a few pinches of coarsley ground pepper, anything else is superfluous.

Cooked beetroot is sweet and succulent. I am happy to use the vacuum packed stuff, or fresh cooked. I enjoy the horror film element of prep, as your fingertips go alarmingly pink and the beets leek luridly red juice. I sometimes slice, other times cube them, and add chopped onion and a mustard dressing, with finely chopped parsley if I've got it. 

Mustard vinaigrette

1 tsp dijon mustard
1tbsp wine vinegar or lemon juice
2 - 3tbsp oil
pepper and salt

stir the pepper and salt into the mustard
add the vinegar and stir a bit more
add the oil, stir until combined, and add more or no more oil, according to taste

You will end up with an emulsified mixture, perfect for beetroot, or any salad actually. A beautifully simple salad dressing.

I don't use olive oil, I think it's a waste, and it makes the dressing a little too rich.

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