We are excited to share another guest post with you today!
Meal Planning Mommies readers say hello to~
We’d like to welcome Chef Tracy, resident chef at Food on the Table .
Food on the Table is a website that provides meal plans and organized grocery lists based on your family’s preferences and the sales at your local grocery store. The service makes planning, cooking, shopping, and saving more efficient.
Today, Chef Tracy will talk about a pantry staple, vinegar. You can find Tracy’s other posts on No Whine Wednesdays at the Food on the Table Blog.
One staple I always have on hand in my pantry is vinegar and not just one kind. I have several kinds and use them for everything. It seems there is always a new vinegar in the store and I have to try it. Vinegars are great for a number of things and seem to make everything better. They add a certain acidity that brightens up the flavor of almost anything. I use them to make salad dressings, marinades, and as a condiment. Red wine vinegars are great for dressings and red meat marinades. Balsamic vinegars are great drizzled over vegetables and then roasted. I love drizzling rice wine vinegar over cooked rice and then mixing in green onions. It really livens up plain white rice. Usually when a dish is missing something, people tend to add salt. I reach for the vinegar! It is so versatile and really adds depth of flavor to anything, so next time instead of raising the salt content, try using vinegar. I guarantee you will be surprised!
Here is a great recipe for summertime that makes great use of balsamic vinegar.
Arugula Salad with Grilled Fruit
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 shallot, minced
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 apricots, halved, stones removed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 ounces pancetta, thinly sliced
8 cups (7 ounces) baby arugula
1/2 cup coarsely chopped, skinned and toasted hazelnuts
For the Vinaigrette: Combine the balsamic vinegar and shallot in a small bowl. Slowly pour the olive into the bowl, whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper.
For the Arugula Salad: Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Brush the apricots with the olive oil and grill for 2 minutes on each side. On the other side of the grill cook the pancetta slices on each side, until crispy, about 1 to 2 minutes.
To serve: Place the arugula in a large salad bowl. Slice the grilled apricots and add to the bowl. Add the vinaigrette and toss to lightly coat the arugula. Crumble the pancetta over the top and sprinkle with the hazelnuts. Serve immediately.