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Creamy Vinaigrette

Beautifully simple, unexpectedly delicious.

½ cup


About 15 minutes to make and about 2 hours to steep


Believe it or not, it is Carolina Gold Rice Flour, fine as powder and as white as a cloud, that creates this emulsified vinaigrette. Cooked to a flowing pudding in seconds with water and given the standard vinaigrette treatment thereafter, the dressing has a fine nuanced flavor and a lovely weighted texture that clings lightly to lettuce leaves. It doesn’t scream down your throat with acidity or throw the high-beam gloss of a cornstarch-bound sauce. No one will ever guess this dressing contains starch. Egg yolks and shaking not required. And it keeps beautifully.

Cooking Remarks

The aged balsamic vinegar dropped in at the end brightens and deepens the finish of this dressing.

equipment mise en place

For this recipe, you will need a digital kitchen scale, a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, a small whisk, a small bowl or jar, a small fine-mesh strainer, and a 1-cup liquid measuring cup or small bowl.

    • 0.2
    • 2
      ounces spring or filtered water, plus more if needed
    • 0.8
      ounces apple cider vinegar
    • 2
      ounces mild extra-virgin olive oil
    • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • ¼
      teaspoon Dijon mustard
    • 1
      medium garlic clove, crushed and peeled
    • 1
      small shallot, minced
    • 2 or 3
      drops aged balsamic vinegar
    • Snipped fresh chives or other minced fresh herb, such as flat-leaf parsley, basil, or tarragon

    In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the rice flour and water. Bring to a simmer over low heat, whisking constantly, and cook until the mixture thickens to a slurry that bubbles around the edges, 20 to 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately whisk in the cider vinegar. Transfer to a small bowl or jar. Add the oil and whisk well, then whisk in the mustard and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Stir in the garlic and shallot. Cover let stand at room temperature for a couple hours.


    Set a small fine-mesh strainer over a 1-cup liquid measuring cup or small bowl. Pour the dressing into the strainer and press on the solids with a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Thin with additional water if desired, then taste for seasoning. Stir in the balsamic and herbs. Serve. (Covered tightly and refrigerated, the vinaigrette will keep indefinitely, but the herbs may fade in color over time.)