I know not everyone will agree with me when I say that when it comes to dressings for salads, a good vinaigrette is the best. I don’t know when my delight for vinaigrette came about, but I’m pretty sure it was influenced by one person who knows her salads well. I worked with Lael for a few years and always found her to have impeccable taste when it came to creating salads. We met for lunch in the office kitchen and she would pull out every kind of vegetable imaginable from the community fridge and concoct a magnificent salad worth everyone’s envy. As hard as I try, my salads never compare to hers. So, if I can’t compose a great “Lael” kind of salad, I can at least learn to love the salad dressing she used…and she frequently dressed her delicious salads with a good vinaigrette. In Lael’s honor, I am sharing an awesome recipe for Smoked Paprika Vinaigrette. It’s my favorite and whenever I serve it to dinner guests, I am always complimented as they help themselves to a second serving of salad and vinaigrette. To Lael, I thank you for setting the highest standard in salad making and showing me that an open mind, imagination, and lots of fresh vegetables bring to pass amazing results in the art of salad making.
If this is your first time making a vinaigrette from scratch, don’t worry it’s very easy. Just make sure you blend all of the ingredients before you add the oil. Slowly beat the other ingredients as you drizzle in the oil to make an emulsion. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and then shake well before serving. You can also use this vinaigrette as a marinade for chicken. Marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour and grill or broil until done.
There are many recipes on the internet for smoked paprika vinaigrette and they contain essentially the same ingredients. Some use fresh ingredients such as garlic and chopped onions, other use all dried ingredients. You must decide for yourself what works best for you, but I like to experiment and so far, I haven’t destroyed a batch of this vinaigrette yet.