It wasn't until I found myself in graduate school in Boston that I truly learned how to be comfortable in the kitchen. At that point I had been immersed in the nutrition field for over 5 years and had been a registered dietitian for 2 of the 5 years. My signature response when someone asked how it was possible that I could be an RD and not know how to cook was: "I can tell you everything about the nutrients in the food, but I can't tell you how to put it together." I honestly felt like my lack of culinary of skills was justified because I didn't go to culinary school. Another post for another day, but boy was I wrong.
Is culinary school necessary to prepare delicious meals? Nope. I did what I call, learn on the job, but I have to give credit where it's due. For this one, a dressing I've modified over the years, I give credit to a brilliant fellow student at Tufts University whom I had the privilege of living with for a few years. She was a master in the kitchen and could almost create something out of nothing. The basics of this simple dressing came from watching her make it over and over in our tiny Boston apartment. That experience proved to me that something like a salad dressing isn't daunting and has a much superior taste than many store-bought varieties.
DIJON VINAIGRETTE WITH SHALLOTS
1 medium shallot, diced
2 tbsp whole grain dijon mustard
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Cut lemon and squeeze juice through a strainer (to catch seeds) and into a bowl. Dice shallot and add to bowl along with mustard, red wine vinegar, salt, and cracked black pepper. Mix well. Slowly add olive oil while whisking to blend.
Dressing can be held in the refrigerator for up to a week.