Versatile mustard vinaigrette recipe for French picnic food
|Toss this versatile mustard vinaigrette with green beans, walnuts and blue cheese.|
You can travel the world with your stomach.Since a nation’s culture is usually tied to its cuisine, meals can be like mini trips and that’s exactly the case with this versatile vinaigrette that is really more of a sauce. It’s so classically French that even the scent of dishes cooked or tossed with this sauce conjure memories of happy travels. It defines the meal.
My mom is a lover of all things French so it’s not surprise that the recipe caught her eye. It’s from a 1994 special issue of Bon Appetit magazine with a French Countryside picnic theme. The whole picnic menu – roast chicken, potato salad and haricots verts, (those beautiful slender green beans) is tied together with this one delicious vinaigrette. It’s smeared over the chicken before roasting (a little rubbed under the skin too), tossed with diced potatoes before and after roasting and tossed with blanched green beans (along with blue cheese and walnuts).
The first time I ever made it was for a potluck I hosted with my boss and co-workers, about a year into my first real job. I was roasting potatoes, cut them way too large so misjudged the baking time by about an hour. We were onto dessert by the time the potatoes were done so none of my guests got to taste them. (Thank God it was a potluck).
Versatile mustard vinaigrette recipe
Makes about 1 ½ cups
- ¼ cup Dijon mustard
- 3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- ¾ cup olive oil
- 2/3 cup chopped shallots
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 Tsp chopped fresh sage
- Mix the mustard and vinegar in a bowl and gradually whisk in the oil. Mix in shallots and herbs.
Chicken: Rub 2 Tbsp of vinaigrette under the skin of the chicken and brush 2 Tbsp over the chicken before roasting. Serve extra vinaigrette on the side.
Green beans: Blanch ½ pound of green beans until crisp-tender. Drain and toss with 2 Tbsp of vinaigrette then sprinkle with 3 Tbsp blue cheese and 1/3 cup toasted walnuts.
Potatoes: Quarter 2 lbs of baby potatoes, toss with 3 Tbsp. of vinaigrette and roast at 375 F until tender (tossing often). Transfer to a bowl and toss with another 3 Tbsp of vinaigrette (and a little blue cheese too, if you like).