The other day, I had lunch at The Left Bank in Larkspur, CA, and I had this lovely butter lettuce salad with a tarragon-mustard vinaigrette. The plate came with an entire head of butter lettuce and the vinaigrette was so smooth, I simply had to try to recreate it at home.
I was lucky today because by chance, I already had shallots and fresh tarragon in the fridge and I remembered to pick up a head of butter lettuce on my way home from dropping off the kids at school. Lunch, here I come.
When standing in front of my bottles of olive oil and vinegar, however, I thought, “I bet Michael Ruhlman’s book, Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking has something to say about this.” Sure enough, a quick Google search yielded a guest post he wrote over at Elise Bauer’s Simply Recipes. In that post, he actually provides three different vinaigrette recipes. I chose to make the tarragon-mustard vinaigrette because I hoped it would match what I had at The Left Bank.
It almost did – definitely close enough for lunch at home. Just make sure to use the highest quality ingredients you can find and whip it up with full gusto.
adapted from Michael Ruhlman’s recipe
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
1 Tbsp minced shallot
Salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
6 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp minced fresh tarragon
In a tall bowl, combine the vinegar, shallot, salt, pepper, and mustard. Give it a stir with a whisk or fork to soften the shallot then drizzle the oil in while whisking continuously to form an emulsion. Wait to stir in the tarragon just before serving.
For more information about Michael Ruhlman and his amazing work on ratios, check out his iPhone app and watch this video that explains it.