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.