Hot Sauce

Sauces, vinaigrettes and dips are your best friends right now while it is sweltering in the kitchen. There’s no need to make a lot of fuss to feed yourself and still make your veg taste great. Learn the basics of vinaigrettes and you’ll be able to whizz up a variety of tastes and flavours to suit any veg and palate. Below are two quick lessons in the ratios and basics behind vinegar based and creamy dressings.

The first lesson is an easy vinaigrette equation that you can most likely make right this moment with everyday cupboard items.

The equation is 8 parts oil + 4 parts acid + 1 part flavour boost. The possibilities are immense. Here are a few classic examples:

Extra virgin olive oil + lemon juice + honey

Walnut oil + sherry vinegar + mustard

Rapeseed oil + rice vinegar + soy sauce

Add fresh minced garlic, chili or herbs for even more enhancement. Salt and pepper to your taste.

Vinaigrette this simple is great for salads with bases of all types – leafy and green; loads of shredded vegetables; beans and legumes; rice and veggies; tuna or shredded chicken. But don’t stop at salad. It’s an easy pour-over for anything steamed, roasted or grilled and can even be used to marinate steak.

Lesson number two adds some creamy goodness to the basic vinaigrette for a richer flavour. The equation is 3 parts creamy ingredient + 1 part flavour boost + liquid to thin.

You could start with any of these luscious bases:
Crème Fraiche
Sour Cream

Add in some flavour to complement your dish:
Fresh Herbs
Soy sauce
Soft cheese

Then thin it out with citrus juice, a little vinegar, buttermilk or water until its pourable and will coat salad leaves. Or leave it thick for an easy dip.

The Local Greens recipe repository is full of other sauce and dip ideas. Here is a sampling of a few based on the vinaigrette equations detailed here.

Avocado Cream Sauce
Shallot Vinaigrette
Sherry Mustard Dressing
Red Pepper Dressing
And, one for homemade ketchup, because, why not.

Enjoy those veggies with these simple sauces, and stay cool out there.