Honey-Clementine Vinaigrette (Citronette)
I think this vinaigrette is “slap yo mamma good!”
Ok, let me explain. It’s a Southern saying. The phrase’s basic meaning is that something is so good that you would commit the most unthinkable act to have it. (SIDEBAR: Just to be clear, please don’t take this phrase literally. The last thing I need is a mob of angry and bruised mothers chasing me down the street.)
Speaking of moms. My mother and teenage sister are visiting for a few weeks (yeah!). They’re staying with my aunt who recently had heart surgery – thankfully she’s doing great. So, about 3 times a week I cook dinner and take it over to them. They appreciate it and I love doing it for them. Tonight they’re having turkey lasagna, garlic bread, spiced broccoli rabe and key lime pie.
Last week, I was standing in my market’s produce section deciding what I would make for them and I spotted this beautiful box of clementines. They looked amazing (and dare I say, cute) in their little wood crate. I couldn’t resist the urge. I grabbed a crate.
I brought them home and realized that I didn’t know what I would do with them. Sure, I could leave them on the counter and snack on them but I wanted to use them in a dish. Maybe a marmalade? Or a cheesecake with a citrus frosting?
And then I remembered once seeing Mario Batali on television chatting up his new thing….a ‘broken citronette’ (an unemulsified, sans vinegar dressing).
My family is big on salads, so a vinaigrette seemed like a good idea. But I wouldn’t try Mario’s. I remembered seeing what looked like a creamier version of this dressing in The Summertime Anytime Cookbook by Dana Slatkin. That’s the one I would go with.
I loved the way it turned out. The flavor is bright and fruity. The mustard brings a nice balance – it kind of hangs out in the background giving the dressing complexity. Although I served the salad wit mixed greens, I can really see paring it with endives or radicchio. The bold, fruity flavor of the dressing would be a worthy counter to the bitterness of both these greens.
Oh, and my family enjoyed the dressing so much that they asked me to make them another batch.
I still have half a crate clementines….any ideas on how I can use them?
I prefer clementines/tangerines in this vinaigrette because they have a smoother and less acidic flavor than regular oranges. But if you can’t find clementines or tangerines, by all means use oranges.
¼ cup honey
¼ cup clementine juice, freshly squeezed
1 small shallot, minced
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 TSP Dijon mustard
¾ canola oil
¾ TSP kosher salt
1/8 TSP freshly ground black pepper
In a medium bowl, whisk together the honey, juice, shallot, garlic and mustard. Whisk in the oil in a slow stream to emulsify – until the dressing becomes thick. Season with salt and pepper (if needed, add more to taste).
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Makes abut 1 ¼ cups