Indian Summer Basil & Parsley Vinaigrette

This week, we thought we’d share a recipe written by Allie that will help you soak up the last few days of our Indian Summer here in San Francisco.  This vinaigrette packs a zesty punch, and is the very essence of late summer/early fall flavors.  Not only is it delicious when used to dress your favorite salad greens (such as arugula, raw kale, endive, purslane, spinach and radicchio), it’s also an unexpected delight when tossed with your favorite roasted vegetables (brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, parsnips, and turnips are all currently in season).  If you choose to toss roasted vegetables with this vinaigrette, Allie suggests doing so when the vegetables are hot out of the oven, so that they absorb all of the fresh flavors.

Photo Courtesy Mary Crimmins

Thai and Traditional Basil ~ Photo Courtesy Mary Crimmins

Ingredients:

  • 3 oz fresh basil leaves, stems removed, by weight
  • 1 oz flat-leaf parsley, by weight
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh finely grated pecorino cheese
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp kosher salt, to taste
  • Zest from 1 lemon, plus lemon juice to taste

For the Basil/Parsley Oil

  1. Place basil and parsley leaves in a strainer, blanch in rapidly boiling water (that’s been salted so that it tastes like the sea) for one second and remove promptly.
  2. Immediately plunge them into an ice bath that’s also been salted like the sea.  This helps stop the leaves from continuing to cook and locks in their bright color.
  3. Once the leaves are completely cooled, drain the leaves and spread them on clean towels.  Roll them to dry them completely.
  4. Chop all leaves coarsely.
  5. Place in a food processor or vitamix.
  6. Turn on the machine, and while it’s whirring begin to drizzle in the oil until it’s incorporated.
  7. Set up a mesh strainer, lined with two sheets of cheesecloth, that’s been set over a bowl.
  8. Next, pour the mixture into the cheese cloth lined strainer, so that the liquid flows into the bowl, and the solids stay in the cheesecloth. Allow all the oil to drain through at room temperature for a half hour, then use a rubber spatula to press the remaining oil out of the solids.  If you like a little texture to your dressing, you can re-incorporate a tablespoon or so of the solids back into the basil oil.

To finish the dressing:

  1. Whisk the finely grated pecorino cheese into the dressing.  Add a the lemon zest and a small squeeze of lemon juice to taste.  Continue to season with kosher salt and lemon juice until you’ve achieved the proper balance of oil and acid.
roasted tomats

Drizzle over slow roasted late-season tomatoes

Toss with freshly roasted vegetables

Toss with freshly roasted vegetables

Toss with a salad of greens and fresh veggies

Dress a salad of greens and fresh veggies

Enjoy!

Be sure to check out our last recipe for Celery Root and Parsnip Mash!

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