I created this Cilantro Oil to use on a Spelt Flatbread with Roasted Spiced Carrot Purée. To make an infused oil, select the type of oil you prefer, such as a mild vegetable oil, extra-virgin olive oil, nut oils, etc. Combine the oil with herbs, spices, garlic, or a any combination. This is a delicious accent for soups, stews, flatbreads, pizza, or a dipping oil for crusty breads. Use an infused oil for a creative twist on a salad dressing or vinaigrette. Drizzle over meat, chicken or fish. Lots of options!
This cilantro oil is quick and easy to make. Place the oil, chopped cilantro, and salt in a blender or food processor and purée. Strain for a delicate drizzle of infused oil or leave the pulp in for a stronger flavor.
Food Safety Note
Any infused oil that contains raw ingredients has a limited shelf life – 4-5 days tops, and must be refrigerated. The herbs, spices and garlic contain bacteria, commonly anaerobic bacteria, that thrive in oxygen-free environments like an infused oil. Plus a little masking tape on the jar with the date.
Flavored oils are a great way to enhance a dish. Drizzle over chicken, fish, vegetables or on top of soup. Use sparingly, this cilantro oil packs lots of flavor.
- Prep Time: 10
- Total Time: 10
- Yield: 1 cup
- Category: Condiment
- Method: Puree
¾ cup olive oil
2 cups roughly chopped cilantro
¼ teaspoon coarse salt
Place the oil, cilantro and salt in the base of a food processor or blender and puree thoroughly.
Refrigerate up to 4 days.
Use at room temperature.
Strain for a refined drizzle. Keep the pulp for a stronger flavor.
A simple salad uses one vegetable, such as lettuce, sliced cucumbers, shredded carrots, or roasted beets and is dressed with a vinaigrette or creamy salad dressing. This simple salad with French vinaigrettes uses Romaine lettuce and the vinaigrette is made with olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, chopped shallots and a few minced fresh herbs.
A simple rule of thumb for a basic vinaigrette is 3 parts oil to 1 part acid, such vinegar or citrus juice, salt and pepper.
Want a tangier dressing? Use 4 parts oil to 2 parts acid, salt and pepper.
Dress up the vinaigrette by adding minced garlic, shallots, fresh or dried herbs, spices, tomato paste and/or grated cheese, such as Asiago or Parmesan.
Food Safety Tip:
Make small batches when using fresh aromatics, such as garlic, shallots or herbs. The bacteria in dirt is anaerobic, meaning it survives in oxygen-free environments like vinaigrettes or salad dressings. Keep in the refrigerator only for up to five days.
Use the dressing sparingly – just enough to coat the vegetable and nothing pooling in the bottom of the bowl.
Watch the Simple Salad with French Vinaigrette Video Here:
Simple Salad with Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette
True French vinaigrette isn’t creamy, orange or sweet. This is a classic recipe, made with olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, chopped shallots and a few minced fresh herbs. Use at least three herbs, such as parsley, thyme and tarragon.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 1/4 cup
- Category: Salad, Vinaigrette
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon coarse salt
a few turns of the pepper mill
2 tablespoons minced fresh herbs, such as parsley, tarragon and thyme
- Place the oil, vinegar, shallots, mustard, salt and pepper in a covered container, such as a Mason jar. Let sit for at least 30 minutes.
- Add the fresh herbs, shake and pour over 4 cups shredded lettuce.
I’ve been making these Roasted Smashed Potatoes for years. My kids were always so excited to see them on the table. Last night my husband saw the parboiled potatoes “smashed” on the roasting pan and said
“Ooh, are we having smashed potatoes for dinner?” He was excited, just like kids were when they lived at home, so cute!
I like to use baby red potatoes or creamers for this recipe. They cook quickly and look better than large potatoes cut into pieces and smashed. This recipe is easy to make and can be partially prepared a day or two in advance.
1 bag (28 ounces) baby red potatoes, scrubbed and rinsed
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
freshly ground pepper
Garnish: 1 tablespoon minced fresh herbs, such as rosemary or thyme, optional
Line a large baking tray (10″ x 15″) with foil.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Place the potatoes and salt in a large covered pot. Add enough cold water to exceed the potatoes by a couple of inches, cover the pot and bring to a boil. Once the water boils, tilt the cover to let steam escape, lower the heat a little and continue cooking until tender, about five minutes. Drain.
Pour the olive oil onto the lined baking tray, add the potatoes and roll them around to coat with the oil.
Once the potatoes are cool, about ten minutes, use the heel of your hand to push down and “smash” the potatoes.
Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown and crispy on the edges, about 1 hour. Or, if making in advance, cover and refrigerate. Allow an additional ten minutes cooking time for the cold potatoes.
Season the potatoes with sea salt, pepper and fresh herbs, if using.
Roasted Smashed Potatoes
I like to use baby red potatoes or creamers for this recipe. They cook quickly and look better than large red potatoes cut into pieces and smashed. This recipe is easy to make and can be partially prepared a day or two in advance.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 1 hour 20 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins
- Yield: 4 portions
- Category: Potatoes
- Method: Roasting
- 1 bag (28 ounces) baby red potatoes, scrubbed and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
- cold water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh herbs, such as rosemary or thyme, optional
- Line a large baking tray (13″ x 15″) with foil.
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- Place the potatoes and salt in a large covered pot. Add enough cold water to exceed the potatoes by a couple of inches, cover the pot and bring to a boil. Once the water boils, tilt the cover to let steam escape, lower the heat a little and continue cooking until tender, about five minutes. Drain.
- Pour olive oil onto the lined baking tray, add the potatoes and roll them around to coat with the oil.
- Once the potatoes are cool, about ten minutes, use the heel of your hand to push down and “smash” the potatoes.
- Bake in the preheated oven until golden and crispy on the edges, about 1 hour. Or, if making in advance, cover and refrigerate. Allow for an additional ten minutes to make up for the cold potatoes.
- Season the potatoes with sea salt, pepper and fresh herbs, if using.
My best friend growing up was of Italian descent. My culinary map as a child was pretty much meat and potatoes – always delicious, but not exotic or ethnic, as we are so accustomed to these days. Eating at Mrs. D’s house was different. Spaghetti sauce was “gravy” and you never cut your spaghetti with a knife and fork, but twirled it with fork and spoon. Parmesan cheese was not Kraft, but freshly grated. Salad was a few peppery greens with vinegar and olive oil. Holidays were resplendent with different types of fish and baked goods; never good for the waistline, but oh so good for the soul.
The simplest dish she made, however, one that has haunted me for over forty years, is a simple red-wine vinaigrette. In the traditional Italian fashion, salad was served as a palate cleanser, after the entrée. This was another deviation from my upbringing in which the salad was the first course, and usually consisted of Iceberg lettuce. Mrs. D served her salad in a small cream-colored bowl (tiny in terms of today’s portions) filled with peppery greens, (who know from Iceberg?) and wedges of juicy, ripe, red tomato. I waited with bated breath at each meal, hoping someone, and there were six at the table, would say “No thanks.” It never happened. We were all served a tomato wedge and a few leaves to complement the meal. The greens were delicate, yet bitter, and peppery. The oil came in a can, not a bottle like my Mom’s vegetable oil, and she never measured, just poured lightly over the greens. The vinegar was red-wine vinegar, again of unknown origin and never measured, accompanied by a generous dash of salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
To this day, I am amazed, puzzled, and frustrated that I have never been able to duplicate this simple, but delicious, and obviously memorable, recipe. Occasionally I’ve ordered a salad similarly dressed at a restaurant and will exclaim to my family, “This tastes just like Mrs. D’s!” At those times I am once again sitting at her table. Thanks Mrs. D for the all the good times and great meals!
The closest I have come to replicating her vinaigrette is a ratio of 4 parts extra-virgin olive oil to 2 parts red-wine vinegar with a a pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. For a small salad that would be 1/4 cup oil (4 tablespoons) to 2 tablespoons vinegar.