Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Caramelized Shallot Vinaigrette


Well, I finally moved out of my school apartment and am now writing this post in the comfort of my own living room.  I will be the first to admit that 2012 so far has been a bit odd in terms of blogging-  I would write at most 2 posts in a row before taking a one month hiatus.  This wasn't happening because I was over blogging, but instead because I became caught up with things that I thought were more important than doing something I love.  

One of my biggest regrets of last summer was wasting it doing nothing.  So this summer was supposed to make up for lost time- I scored a second interview for a marketing internship, a rare accomplishment for a first year, and without sounding like an arrogant prick I most likely would have started that internship two days ago.  But instead, I politely withdrew my application. 

I thought marketing would finally be a side of business that would allow me room to express creativity (there's only so much you can do with accounting and finance).  However, after realizing that a marketing internship would consist of 35 hours of market research about a petroleum company's customers, I finally decided it was time to stop kidding myself.  This entire school year consisted of putting my creativity on the back burner so I could unsuccessfully succeed at college.  So here I am, again heading into a summer with absolutely nothing planned. 

But that doesn't mean, I plan on lollygagging for the next 3 months (although doing so for at least one week would be nice).   I will be preparing for a position on student government for next year, along with an executive board position for my fraternity.  But most of all, I finally have the time and energy to get back into photography, art, and cooking.  It also finally means I can immerse myself back into blogging.

In short, this summer isn't about readying myself for the job market by doing an internship where I won't experience any personal growth.  Instead, I'm back to chasing after what I originally truly loved doing, including catching up on all these backed up late posts!

A year or two ago, I made an amaze-balls recipe that I found on David Leibovitz's site for roasted chicken with caramelized shallots.  Was it delicious?  Heck yes, but for me the star of the dish that I couldn't get enough of was the umami-bomb that was the liquid at the bottom of the roasting pan.  I hoarded that stuff as long as I possibly could, specifically using it as a salad dressing, which is where this idea came form.  

For a vinaigrette this takes quite a bit of time- you have to gently caramelize the shallots until they begin melting from being so soft.  It's definitely worth it though, because this is such a damn versatile condiment.  It goes with nearly everything from fish, chicken, and red meat, and I even serve it with bread as a dip. 

Usually I'm not a big fan of cooking with vinegar because of how sharp it ends up being, so I rounded out the final vinaigrette with some maple syrup, and it was perfect!  The soy adds that perfect touch of rich umami flavor that lessens the sharpness of the vinegar.  This is definitely now my all time favorite salad dressing (although I think I've been saying that everything has been my favorite dish lately).

Caramelized Shallot Vinaigrette
inspired by David Leibovitz' Caramelized Shallot Chicken

2-3 large shallots, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 - 1 cup olive oil (the amount depends on your preference; also extra virgin would be a bit too overpowering I think in this case)
2-3 teaspoons of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of maple syrup, or to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper to taste

In a saute pan on medium-low heat, sweat the butter and shallots for 20-30 minutes until they became soft and caramelized.  Cool to room temperature, and whisk together with the remaining ingredients.  



  1. Hello!
    This sounds like a great recipe.

    I love shallots.

    However I don't understand that extra-virgin olive oil would be too overpowering.

    Extra virgin is very light,, and doesn't have that deep olive taste to it.

    Can you explain your viewpoint please.

    Keep up your creativity. It is what fuels us for a changing world.


    1. Hi Charlie!

      It's great to hear from a reader- While it's true that extra virgin in itself isn't too much of an overbearing flavor, I really just wanted the flavor of the shallots to shine through, so I played it save and used a light olive oil.

  2. Do you serve this hot or cold?

    And how long does it keep in the fridge? (Excluding the short amount of time it would take to gobble it all up because it looks amazing!)

    - Signe of A Bite of Joy


    1. I've served this both hot and cold and it always tastes great- Hmmm and in terms of how long it keeps just to err on the side of safety I would say two or three weeks? I honestly haven't kept leftovers of it that long :)


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