We seem focused on wine and food, writing endless studies on which wines pair best with which foods. We include recipes where wine is a significant ingredient, and we host wine dinners and events that celebrate these wine and food pairings. All of this is good and fun, but there is so much more.

Now that we are preparing for a limited release of the first vermouth from Livermore Valley in over seventy years, it is time to ask if vermouth has any uses other than as an aperitif or cocktail mixer. And I am glad to report that it does! There was a time when vermouth was called a ‘liquid seasoning shelf.’ It was a popular additive to many classic dishes, including cheese fondue and chicken fricassee. But that began to change when good vermouth became harder to find in the 1970s. Today, vermouth and food are rarely mentioned.

We desire to make vermouth current once again. So, from time to time, we will release a few ‘vermouth’ recipes for your enjoyment. This salad dressing, or Sauce Vinaigrette au Vermouth, is a simple introduction to the culinary power of vermouth. It is borrowed from a recipe of Craig Claiborne and Pierre Franey from the New York Times.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ Tbs Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tbs Red Wine Vinegar
  • ¼ Cup Sidewinder Dry Vermouth from Livermore Valley
  • ½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbs finely chopped Shallots
  • Black Pepper and Salt to taste

Directions

Mix mustard and vinegar together in a small mixing bowl. Continue to stir as you add the vermouth and olive oil. Then beat in the shallots, salt, and pepper. Makes about 1 Cup, enough to dress several tossed salads.

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