Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Champagne vinaigrette and blue cheese salad #recipe from @DarylWoodGerber


From Daryl: I was lucky enough to enjoy this salad on a trip when I visited family up north. We ate at a charming restaurant in Portola Valley, an area just north of San Jose, set in the woods.

What made the salad so savory was the dressing. Of course, I forgot to ask the restaurant for the recipe, so I had to search the Internet for something similar when I got home. I think I nailed it. What really makes the salad shine is the blue cheese. Make sure you get a good quality cheese. I adore Point Reyes Farmstead cheeses.

As their website states: "The first ingredients are native grass and cool ocean air. Some say they can taste it."  I'd agree. Check out their site and look for their products.

Champagne Vinaigrette

(makes 1 cup)

Ingredients for dressing:
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1/4 cup champagne vinegar (if you don’t have, use white wine vinegar)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1 whole lemon)
2 tablespoons honey
2 or 3 dashes hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (about 10 grinds)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

In a medium size bowl, whisk all the ingredients.  I mean whisk! Really stir it up so the ingredients will emulsify.  This means to blend two ingredients that usually don't like to go together, like oil and water, or in this case champagne.  Store unused portion in the refrigerator.

Not the prettiest picture but you get the idea...

Ingredients for  salad:

(Figure for each person...)

1/2 cup grilled chicken breast, diced  * see cooking instructions below
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 - 1/2 cup blanched asparagus, diced * see cooking instructions below
1 - 2 cups Romaine lettuce chopped
2 - 4 baby tomatoes, sliced
2 - 4 slices cucumber
2 - 4 tablespoons blue cheese * I used Point Reyes Farmstead – yum!

To cook the chicken:

Pound chicken breasts on a cutting board.  Heat oil in a frying pan. Grill the chicken on medium high for 4 minutes on each side. Cover with a lid. This spits!  Remove chicken and set on a paper towel. Let cool.

To cook the asparagus:

Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Toss in the diced asparagus. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Pour off hot water and cover asparagus with cold water and ice to stop the cooking process. When ready, pour off the water.

Meanwhile, assemble the salad.  In a large bowl, toss the diced chicken, diced asparagus,
lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, and blue cheese with 1-2 tablespoons of dressing per serving.  Go lightly. You can always add more.

This may be served as an appetizer or entrée.  Enjoy.


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  1. Can't wait to try this, Daryl! Yum. Hugs. MJ

  2. This dressing sounds delicious. Technical question: how long does champagne vinegar last? I have a bottle that is well aged!

    1. You know, Pat, I don't know. I have "old" vinegar, too, and it seems just fine. I think I'd throw it out if you see "dregs" at the bottom. ~ Daryl

  3. Wow this looks great! Thanks for the recipe!

    1. You are more than welcome, Kay. Glad you like it. ~ Daryl

  4. Sounds elegant and tasty.
    When I hear "champagne vinegar" I wonder "would I prefer to drink the original rather than turn it into vinegar"?

    1. Ha! So, I agree, I'd like to drink it, but you prompted me to look up how to make it - and I found a fun site about what to do with that half-bottle that you didn't drink. Here's the site. ~ Daryl