Sounds Strange, but Add Some Vanilla to the Vinaigrette.
As a pale, skin cancer-prone communist with a tendency to argue about labor issues in bars, I don’t miss life in Florida that much. I don’t miss beaches. I don’t miss the sun. I don’t miss bugs. I do miss Bern’s Steakhouse , however, a luxurious old-school establishment styled like a French brothel.
They have good steaks (obviously), their wine collection is more than impressive, their menu never changes. Desserts are served in a separate upstairs room (with a dedicated pianist), and after lunch tours of the kitchen and wine cellar are offered. I love a lot about Bern’s, but one of my favorites is the salad dressing heck. Their macadamia vanilla vinaigrette is one of the best vinaigrette I’ve ever touched my tongue and I really want it.
I didn’t find anything similar to this dressing, but I started adding a little vanilla extract to my vinaigrettes. Vanilla is a scent that is strongly associated with dessert, but it is actually a scent of pleasure. A little vanilla softens the acidity, emphasizes the sweetness and just improves the taste. Vanilla-tinged dressings work best with salads that contain ingredients with natural sweetness, such as fruits or fried vegetables, super salty ingredients, or really aggressive cheese.
How much vanilla you add depends on the ratios in your recipes, so start with a small amount (like 1/4 teaspoon) and work up as needed. If you want a basic vinaigrette recipe, start with this template . In terms of ingredients, I would recommend getting the acid from a good fruit vinegar (like raspberries) and adding a nut butter like hazelnut or pistachio oil. I think I’m going to find some macadamia nut oil for this special purpose, as a tribute to my beloved Bern.