Every once in a while during the summer, I stumble on the sale of the season. I'm not talking about clothes or shoes — this is far better. I'm talking about fresh, ripe raspberries for $1 per pint. Considering these berries can be upwards of $5 at the grocery store, I stock up!
While I could easily eat my way through pint after pint, popping berries from the container straight to my mouth, I do my best to show a little restraint. I like to save at least a few to be put to work in the kitchen.
This dressing can be made one of two ways, and the choice is all yours.
Now is the season for delicious, fresh raspberries, so if you have them handy, use them to make this vinaigrette. In non-summer months, you can use frozen berries. Using real raspberries will yield a slightly sweet dressing.
Alternatively, you can make this dressing with raspberry vinegar. You'll still get the raspberry flavor, but with a touch more tang, and a little less sweetness.
When I decided to make this recipe, there was no question in my mind — I went straight for fresh raspberries.
I was a little worried about the raspberry seeds, and was prepared to strain the dressing before using it, but they got fairly well-pulverized when the dressing was blended together.
Using fresh berries makes a vinaigrette that's more delicate than if you were to use raspberry vinegar. And for that reason, I think a neutral-tasting oil — like grapeseed oil, or even a blend of a neutral oil with olive oil — works well for this vinaigrette.
1/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1/4 cup white wine vinegar (or raspberry vinegar)
1 small shallot, chopped very fine (about 2 tablespoons)
1/2 cup olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Combine the raspberries with the other ingredients and mix in a blender until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
If using raspberry vinegar without fresh berries, combine vinegar and shallot in a bowl. In a slow, steady stream, pour in olive oil while whisking. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
This vinaigrette will keep refrigerated for a few weeks. Whisk to remix the vinaigrette before using.
This recipe has been updated — first published January 2006.