The best (and simplest) Dijon-Lemon Vinaigrette

I haven’t bought a bottle of salad dressing since the Clinton administration.

Not when it is so much easier, tastier, healthier and less expensive to make them on your own.

Here’s a simple one to start with that will transform your salads instantly. All you need is a jar with a lid or some sort of dressing-making vehicle. Mine is from the last Pampered Chef party I went to at the same time I bought that last bottled dressing.

Best Dijon-lemon Vinaigrette. Est. 1998.
Best Dijon-lemon Vinaigrette. Est. 1998.

Dijon-Lemon Vinaigrette

(Use these measurements as a guide–make it your own.)

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 lemon, juiced

1/4 c. (or so) olive oil

Kosher salt and pepper

1.) Plop a spoonful of mustard in the jar. Juice the lemon over top. Add the olive oil. Season with a generous amount of salt and pepper to taste.

2.) Shake or mix well.

3.) Serve over a salad or with a straw. It’s that good.

©2013 Tracey Henry

Espresso Chocolate Chip Gelato

In my old liberal hippie escape fantasies, I used to want to run away to Vermont and start a lavender farm and make my own soap.

I’ve evolved since then.

Now, I want to run away to Tuscany to start a pine nut and basil farm and make my own gelato.

I’ll start with this one.

Espresso Chocolate Chip Gelato

(You need an ice cream maker of some sort for this recipe.)

2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 c. sugar
4 egg yolks

1 cup mini chocolate chips, chocolate chips or chopped chocolate pieces

1.) Freeze or refrigerate chocolate chips until ready to use.

2.) Combine milk and cream in heavy saucepan over medium heat. Heat through until it foams around the edges. Whisk in espresso powder and vanilla until dissolved.

3.) Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks and sugar until pale and sugar is dissolved. Add about 1/2 cup of the milk mixture to the eggs–stir well, then add the rest and stir until combined. Return the entire mixture to the saucepan and heat through until it coats the back of the spoon, about 3-5 minutes.

4.) Strain the mixture through a sieve into a clean bowl or pitcher, cover and chill about 3 hours.

5.) Following your ice cream machine instructions, process the gelato for about 10-15 minutes or until just about done. Add the chocolate chips in the final minutes. Freeze until ready to serve.


6.) Search out Italian farmland and used gelato street carts on the Internet.


©2013 Tracey Henry