Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Lemon Vinaigrette and a review of The Kitchn Cookbook

I've been a big fan of the website The Kitchn for quite some time, so I was pretty excited to see that they had a cookbook.

Once it was in my hands, I was a little surprised to see that the first part of the book - I'd say roughly a third of the book - is all sorts of tips about what tools you need in your kitchen, how to organize, how to clean, how to stock your pantry, and a whole bunch of tips for basic food prep.

It's all good information for someone who's just starting out, but I've been cooking so long, I'm pretty unlikely to change what I do.

So I wandered straight to the recipe section. There were a lot of recipes I wanted to try, from brined pork chops to pasta recipes to cocktails to desserts. But after a lot of gawking and paging through the book, the two that I zoned in on were a lemon vinaigrette and braised green beans with tomatoes.

The photo of the beans was compelling. It looked like the kind of dish that I could eat for lunch all by itself.

But I'm a sucker for lemon and I have this crazy theory about cookbooks. I like to try a few simple, inexpensive recipes before I go out and buy expensive stuff and spend my time on complicated recipes.

I liked this dressing - which I expected - but I have to note that this isn't just for salads. I drizzled it on some artichokes and it would be amazing on asparagus. Or a dressing for a pasta salad. Or... wherever you want lemon. Which, for me, is pretty much everywhere.

Lemon Vinaigrette
Adapted from The Kitchn Cookbook
By Sara Kate Gillingham and Faith Durand

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely minced shallot
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a 1 cup or larger jar. Shake vigorously until everything is well mixed.

Taste and adjust seasoning.

Refrigerate until needed.

I actually liked this better after a day, since the shallots had a chance to mellow a bit, but it was good right away, as well.

If this sits for a day, you'll probably need to shake again, but I made this a few hours ahead and it hadn't separated at all. And it really didn't take a lot of shaking to get it to emulsify.

I received this book from the publisher in order to do a review.