Oil and Vinegar: How and Why Pair the Two?
Few food pairs are as timeless and versatile as oil and vinegar. There are several types of oils and vinegars harvested and produced in the world: Different varieties of each are useful in a wide range of cooking methods and recipes in every cuisine. Mixing the two is a popular way to make use of both versatile, tasty, and often healthful ingredients.
Why Pair Oil and Vinegar
The combination of oil and vinegar has long been used in many cuisines for several dishes. Acidic vinegar balances and contrasts with fatty oil in a base for salad dressings, marinades, and more. Whether you’re looking at popular olive oil, nutty coconut oil, pungent sesame oil, or neutral avocado oil, there’s a way to make use of it alongside trusty vinegar. For example, olive oil and balsamic vinegar are a classic pair — and always available at Tacoma Boys in many varieties! To fully taste the classic combination, dip pieces of bread into a shallow bowl full of Stonewall Kitchen Aged Balsamic Vinegar, Napa Valley Natural Organic Extra Virgin Basil-Infused Olive Oil, and herbs. This recipe for Bread Dipping Oil is a good guide with step-by-step instructions on how to assemble such a dip.
Once you notice how useful and common the combination of oil and vinegar is, you will start to see it in everything! Some of the best salad dressings, sauces, dips, spreads, soups, and marinades rely on these two ingredients.
Health Benefits of Oil and Vinegar
Aside from adding flavor and texture to a meal, consuming certain oils and vinegars can provide nutrients and health benefits. Like most any food, the health benefits vary between different types – And moderation is always key. Avocado oil and olive oil are common favorites in the world of oils: Although they contain fats, these fats are monounsaturated. That means they’re the good, healthy fats that regulate cholesterol and give you everyday energy.
Vinegar certainly provides health benefits because it is a fermented food. Alongside fermented friends like yogurt, pickles, and sauerkraut, these foods contain probiotics that help maintain digestion and an overall healthy gut. Fermented foods also support your immune system. Apple cider vinegar is one variety that is hailed for its health benefits: Some people drink Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar straight from the bottle to reap its immune-boosting rewards!
For an example, olive oil mixed with balsamic vinegar can:
- Provide antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties
- Lower unhealthy cholesterol levels
- Reduce diabetes risk
- Improve blood flow and reduce hypertension
Cooking with Oil and Vinegar
When cooking with oil and vinegar, it’s important to account for the taste of both and the smoke point of oils. Heating oils with a low smoke point, like olive oil, can result in burned oil and a smoky kitchen. Rather, try opting for “high heat” oils that won’t burn in your skillet. Avocado oil is growing in popularity for its use in high heat cooking. Same goes for refined coconut oil (which is flavorless).
Olive oil, while not ideal for cooking at a high temperature, should have a pleasant taste. Same goes for some other oils like sesame oil. This is why they’re often used as a flavor agent in dressing and dips: In fact, consuming olive oil raw is the most nutritious way to do it! Next time you go to sauté some onions or whip up a salad dressing, keep this in mind. Cooking with oil and vinegar utilizes fat and acid. These are two of some of the main tenets of good cooking that will help you achieve a balanced-tasting meal! Adding a dash of vinegar to soups, stews, sauces, and salads are as easy way to balance things out with a little acidity.
If you add oil and vinegar to the same container, you’ll notice they don’t easily mix. However, you can emulsify oil and vinegar with some firm whisking and a bit of patience.This is the definition of a vinaigrette!
- Aside from tasting delicious on a salad, a vinaigrette can make up the base of a marinade for meat and vegetables.
- The oil in a vinaigrette will coat the meat to allow seasonings to stick while the vinegar will tenderize the meat. Both add great flavor.
- Add seasonings and other ingredients to bring out the best taste in your meal! Herbs, garlic, onion, salt, black pepper, and spreads like dijon mustard are common additions to vinaigrettes.
- Give it a shot using this Basic Vinaigrette Recipe with a couple variations.
Grilled Caprese Chicken
One of our favorite ways to enjoy balsamic vinegar is on this tasty Grilled Caprese Chicken dish. After grilling the chicken with avocado oil, a good drizzle of balsamic vinegar will pull those flavors together perfectly.
Stop By For Supplies!
Tacoma Boys stock of speciality products ensures you’ll find just the right oil and vinegar for your cooking needs. This includes Delallo vinegars, Napoleon olive oils and vinegars, Spectrum Sunflower and Coconut Oil, Roland truffle oils, and much more. If you ever have a question or need help finding your favorite, don’t ever hesitate to ask! To stay up to date on insider deals and specials, sign up for Tacoma Boys’ text list. Just text (253) 246-1661 to tell Paul you want to be on the list!