Friday, April 3, 2015

Alain Passard's Amazing (and Simple) Vinaigrette Aigre-Doux

A few months ago, I wrote about the legendary chef, Alain Passard, whose three star Arpège is almost entirely vegetable focused. I have been viewing the videos referred to in my post of January 1, 2015, and one really got my attention: on vinaigrette aigre-doux, which means sweet and sour vinaigrette.

I usually avoid sweet vinaigrettes, as well as honey mustards: for me the honey overpowers the salty and acid aspects of the experience. BUT. This is ALAIN PASSARD, who is so excited over this dressing that I had to give it a try. It helps that it takes about four minutes to assemble and contains just three ingredients: lime juice, honey and olive oil.

Here's the recipe (which I halved with perfect success):
  • Mix 70 grams of lime juice with 140 grams of honey (I used chesnut)
  • Slowly add 200 grams of olive oil with an immersion blender until you have a nice emulsion
That's it.

Here's how to use it, under a salad of cut up beets and turnips, covered with a sprinkling of mesclun and herbs.

Turnips and beets with mesclun over Alain Passard's vinaigrette aigre-doux
A slightly different version, substituting lemon juice for lime, is perfect over triangles of pineapple (topped with paper thin apple slices and lime zest). It was also perfect over blackberries, but less good on watermelon triangles. The lesson is that it is a better counterpoint for salty or sour than for sweet.

Impress your friends (and yourself) with no effort!

Bobby Jay

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