Conscious Cuisine Choice Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

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Menu Part: Sauce
Cuisine Type: Italian
Serves: 3 qts.

Several years ago Princeton University's Rob Harbison, executive chef, worked with Cary Neff, author of the Conscious Cuisine cookbook, to develop a line of salad dressings that reduced fat content. They did this by using thickened vegetable broth to produce a great fresh low-fat dressing and marinade.

″The result is this CCC balsamic vinaigrette,″ says Harbison. ″CCC means Conscious Cuisine Choice, which we use to identify all of our menu offerings which meet his guidelines. The students all ask for healthier options so our group of chefs on campus selected our dressing offerings to spearhead the Conscious Cuisine Choise program. It's a simple development of fresh bold ingredients, accompanied with reduction of fat, to result in a similar tasting dressing to a full-fat dressing, which has nearly 200 calories per serving, where as our CCC dressings have as little as 17 calories.″

Harbison says the initial concern was that the students would miss the richness of the oil, but once it is tossed with the salad greens, he says, all you can taste is herbaceous tones from the fresh basil and a ″sweet zing″ from the balsamic. Harbison says the team uses this dressing for its marinades for chicken and grilled vegetables.

Ingredients

64 oz. vegetable broth, thickened with corn starch
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small shallot, minced
1 tbsp. fresh oregano
2 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
¼ cup honey
2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup 100% olive oil
1 tbsp. sea salt
½ tbsp. fresh cracked pepper

Steps

1. Make simple vegetable stock and thicken it with a corn starch slurry. Be sure it is chilled before adding to the dressing.

2. Place chopped garlic and shallot in lightly oiled pan, cover with aluminum foil and roast in 350°F oven for 15 to 20 mins., or until browned.

3. Chop all herbs roughly. Blend all ingredients together starting with mustard, honey, herbs then garlic mixture. Slowly whisk in the rest of the ingredients.