A good, puckery vinaigrette has a ratio behind it: three parts oil to one part acid. Acid can take the form of vinegar or citrus juice. "Once you understand that, you got this," says chef Hugh Acheson. "Add whatever you want. Go flavor-crazy. Shake that jar. Work those forearms." If you make too much, it will keep in the fridge for seven to 10 days in a sealed container.
This sweet-tangy dressing matches well with a watercress salad, carrot salad, fennel salad, mixed green salad, and citrus salad.
Citrus-Poppy Seed Vinaigrette
Bobby Flay combines lime, orange and grapefruit juices for a dressing that's great on greens or fruit, especially honeydew.
This simple 5-minute dressing is great with an heirloom tomato salad, pasta salad, panzanella salad and grilled fish, chicken or lamb.
Melissa Rubel Jacobson says the easiest way to peel fresh ginger for this punchy Asian-inspired vinaigrette is to scrape it with the edge of a spoon. She then grates it on a Microplane zester (other fine graters work well, too) before using it in the dressing. The vinaigrette matches especially well with cabbage slaw, Chinese chicken salad, mixed green salad, grilled eggplant or tuna, and summer rolls.
Smoky Orange Vinaigrette
This marmalade-sweetened dressing is quintessential Bobby Flay, with bold flavors that taste best with grain salads or grilled meat.
Bobby Flay never met a chile he didn't like. Here, he uses jalapeños in a versatile dressing that's as good on delicate greens as it is on grilled vegetables, fish or meat.
Reinvented Russian Dressing
Bobby Flay's version of Russian dressing is tangier than the classic; made with nonfat Greek yogurt, it has just one-sixth the calories.
Besides accenting salads, this tangy, slightly sweet dressing can be used as a dipping sauce for vegetables or boiled shrimp.
Creamy Garlic Vinaigrette
For this lower-fat tribute to creamy Caesar dressing, Bobby Flay adds sweet roasted garlic puree instead of lots of mayonnaise.
Soaking shallot slices in vinegar makes them deliciously pickle-like. For a tarter flavor, let the shallots soak for up to 2 hours. The vinaigrette goes well with a cucumber salad, sliced tomatoes, pasta salad, steak salad, steamed asparagus or green beans.
Creamy Feta Vinaigrette
Instead of tossing chunks of feta into her salad or crumbling the cheese on top of cooked vegetables, Melissa Rubel Jacobson purees it right into a vinaigrette. This makes the dressing smooth and luscious and ensures a little bit of tang in almost every bite.
Blue-Cheese Tarragon Dressing
Blue cheese dressing doesn't have to be the gunk served with chicken wings at dive bars. Melissa Rubel Jacobson makes her splendid, refined version with red wine vinegar and plenty of fresh tarragon. It is great with a hearty green or tomato salad.