Macerated Shallot Vinaigrette from Erin French

Oh, the beauty of shallots and vinegar. I actually discovered this now kitchen staple of mine by accident when I made fresh shallot vinaigrette, left things sitting a little longer than usual, and came back o find how nice and sweet the shallots had become. It turnes out that letting them macerate in vinegar for at least 20 minutes completely softens their aggressive onion flavor. In fact, it evolves into a completely different flavor altogether–bright and briny, but savory too. I mis the shallots with olive oil and black pepper to make a vinaigrette, which I call my secret sauce because just a spoonful enhances and brightens everything it touches, adding a little acid and brightness wherever needed. Toss lettuces with just enough to make them glisten. Combine with thinly sliced beets, carrots, or cabbage for slaw. Drizzle over thinly slice raw scallops for a crudo.

(makes about 1/2 cup)

• 1 shallot, finely diced
• 2 tablespoons season rice wine vinegar or enough to just cover the shallots
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• A couple twists of pepper

Combine the shallots and rice vinegar and allow to macerate for at least 20 minutes or up to overnight. Whisk in the olive oil and pepper. You could store this in your fridge for up to a week, but you’ll get the freshest, brightest flavor if you use within 24 hours.