Thursday, July 2, 2015

Raspberry Vinaigrette

A while back, the Oregon Raspberry Blackberry Commission contacted me about writing a post about their berries. Specifically frozen berries.

I made a few recipes and they were good, but for one reason or another, I didn't want to post them. Sometimes the photos didn't work out, and other times I wanted to tweak the recipes further.

I set the berry cooking aside for a while, even though I had more berries in the freezer. I knew I'd get back to them eventually, because frozen berries are so versatile. They're great when berry season is over, but they're handy to have, even during berry season.

See, when you buy fresh berries, you really need to use them pretty quickly. If you shop on the weekend, but you're planning on using the berries on Wednesday or Thursday, you're probably going to need to sort through the berries to pick out the bad ones. It's best to buy them and use them in a day or two.

But that's not always practical. I don't live horribly far from a grocery store, but I still don't want to drive there more often than I have to.

Unlike fresh berries, frozen berries are just as good a week or a month later, as long as you keep them safely frozen. And they're always there when you decide to make something on a whim. No need to run to the store and hope that the berries are looking good.

So anyway, I finally grabbed some frozen raspberries (Stalbush Island Farms is an Oregon brand, by the way) and made a very tasty vinaigrette.

Since this vinaigrette includes both the juice and pulp of the berries, it's pretty thick. Which means you don't need a lot of oil - which is what makes the emulsion with the acidic component in a normal vinaigrette. A little oil is used to add the richness and savory flavor, though.

This is amazing on salads, and wonderful drizzled on vegetables. It would also be a lovely glaze on chicken or pork. You could use it as a marinade.

I'm pretty sure you will think of plenty of other uses after you make it. It's really versatile.

The easiest way to get separate juice and pulp from berry seeds is to let the berries thaw and then let a juicer do the work for you. If you don't have a juicer, you can use a blender to break them down a bit, then pass them through a fine-mesh strainer to get rid of the seeds.

You could also use a food mill to mash the berries and get rid of the seeds.

Some folks don't mind the seeds, but I don't care for them. If you like seeds, leave them in.

I used red raspberries, because I wanted the bright color. You could certainly use black raspberries, or a berry mix.

Raspberry Vinaigrette

4 ounces red raspberry juice and pulp (extracted from 8 ounces frozen Oregon berries)
2 ounces red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon prepared brown mustard
2 ounces olive oil

Combine all the ingredients in a jar (I used a dressing shaker with a handy pouring spout, but you can use a jar with a lid) and shake to combine.

Taste for seasoning, and add more salt, sugar, or red wine vinegar to adjust it to your taste.

If it's too thick to pour, you can add a little water to thin it out.

Serve immediately, or refrigerate until needed.

This was particularly good on asparagus along with a basil mayo drizzle. it sounds like an unlikely combination, but it was really really (really) good.

Thanks to the Oregon Raspberry Blackberry Commission for sponsoring this post!
Raspberry vinaigrette is perfect on salads or vegetables