Curry Vinaigrette (Food Memories of 2011, No. 17)

Every day in December, I'm writing a short post about some food memory from 2011, mostly to be more thankful for all the great food and drink I've been lucky enough to have this year.

My love affair with curry vinaigrette began this year after I learned to make it at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York, where I took some courses earlier this year.

I love this dressing so much, and curry powder is a superb health food, so it's great to work more of it into my diet. It goes very well on dark green leafy salads, like chopped raw chard with almonds, or baby spinach and hard-cooked eggs.

Recipe for Curry Vinaigrette
Make a basic vinaigrette however you like. If you're lost, try:
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard (any kind is fine)
  • 1 tablespoon shallot, minced
  • 2/3 cup olive oil 
  • 1 pinch of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon toasted curry powder
Whisk together the first three ingredients. Slowly whisk in the oil. Whisk in the rest.

To toast the curry powder, put it into a dry pan, and set the pan over medium heat. And open a window or turn on your oven hood fan if you have one. It won't burn your eyes or nose the way dry chili peppers or chili oil in a hot pan will, but the smell of curry does tend to linger. Stir the curry powder so it doesn't burn, and turn off the heat when the color of the curry starts to change. It happens in about two to five minutes.

Let the curry powder cool a bit, then whisk it into your vinaigrette.