A small bit of vanilla can mellow and deepen tangy flavors. This vinaigrette, which comes from food writer and radio host Michele Anna Jordan, is good to keep on hand for all-purpose green salad needs. Don't worry—the vanilla is not cloying at all. Most people won't know it's there unless you tell them, although they will comment on how good the dressing is. When I make it I cut back on the balsamic and add a tablespoon of Dijon mustard, a few teaspoons of maple syrup, and big squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 cup hazelnut or walnut oil 1/2 cup peanut oil 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
Combine the vinegars and vanilla. Whisk in oils and add the salt, pepper, and sugar. Taste and adjust seasonings. Makes about 1 cup.