Like so many of you, I like to have different vinaigrettes on-hand in the refrigerator. A simple salad, when done really well, adds great texture and color to a meal, whether for lunch or dinner. Salads have been know in my house (and clients, too!) to be an impromptu addition when I am having timing issues in the kitchen (or, when I drain the pasta into the sink without a colander - I blame it on the wine!). My Cointreau Vinaigrette has a wonderful balance of sharp orange zing from Cointreau, and the freshly squeezed orange juice adds a bit of sweetness. It is rounded out by the fruity olive oil, blending all of the flavors. A perfect pairing, indeed!
Ingredients (serves 6)
- Orange Liqueur – 1½ tablespoons (Cointreau recommended)
- Olive Oil – ⅓ cup
- Honey – 2 tablespoons
- Orange Juice – 3 tablespoons, freshly squeezed
- Sea Salt – ¼ teaspoon
- Black Pepper – ¼ teaspoon, freshly cracked
- Arugula – 5 ounces
- Hazelnuts – 1 cup, lightly toasted
- Goat Cheese – 3 ounces, crumbled
- Parmesan Cheese – large shavings, for garnish (Parmigiano-Reggiano recommended)
- Strawberries – 1½ cups, hulled, then thinly sliced
- Parsley – ¼ cup, fresh, finely minced, Italian flat leaf variety recommended
- Sea Salt – ½ teaspoon
- Black Pepper – ½ teaspoon, freshly cracked
- Orange Juice – ¼ cup, freshly squeezed
- Place all of the ingredients into a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously for about 60 seconds.
- Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before dressing a salad.
- On a large serving platter, arrange the arugula, hazelnuts, goat cheese, Parmesan cheese, strawberries, and parsley. Evenly sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Next, evenly drizzle the salad with freshly squeezed orange juice.
- Add just enough Cointreau Vinaigrette to lightly coat the salad. Toss tableside just before serving.
Tip: I like to serve more vinaigrette in a small pitcher or gravy boat on the side and let guest add more vinaigrette to their salad if they prefer.