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Cointreau Vinaigrette

La Vie Piquant

La vie piquant—the spicy life!  Everyday is filled with “piquant” moments that are pleasantly stimulation of exciting to the mind.  Whether it is in the form of food, style, design, love, entertaining, or any other inspiring idea or tangible object, “it” should be celebrated!  Here I will be sharing with you simple, beautiful, realistic, doable, and truly re-creatable recipes, entertaining ideas, and home décor pizzazz that will help you interject a little bit of “piquant” into your life – after all, we only live once.  Join me in living la vie piquant!

Cointreau Vinaigrette

Marc J. Sievers

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!


Cointreau Vinaigrette

Ingredients (serves 6)

Cointreau Vinaigrette:

  • 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

Salad Components:

  • 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

Directions

Cointreau Vinaigrette:

  1. Place all of the ingredients into a jar with a tight-fitting lid.  Shake vigorously for about 60 seconds.
  2. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before dressing a salad.

Assembly:

  1. On a large serving platter, arrange the arugula, hazelnuts, goat cheese, Parmesan cheese, strawberries, and parsley.  Evenly sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Next, evenly drizzle the salad with freshly squeezed orange juice.
  3. 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.