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Merrill's baby Clara has quite the appetite -- and it's all Merrill can do to keep up. Armed with her greenmarket bag, a wooden spoon and a minimal amount of fuss, she steps into the fray.
Today: Vinaigrette, for green beans and everything else.
Videos like this of babies reacting to the taste of lemon juice are one of my favorite things to watch. I'm always amazed that despite the intense reactions, most of those kids keep going back for more.
More: a creamy lemon pudding for babies and grownups.
Clara is no exception. She seems to gravitate to all things tart, and this extends to vinegar. She got her first taste of vinaigrette after I made a green bean salad for dinner one night and gave her a leftover bean from the fridge the next day. She methodically sucked off all of the dressing and promptly moved on to demolish the bean itself.
I make some variation of this vinaigrette every week and keep it in the fridge for all manner of salads and vegetables -- it just needs a few minutes at room temperature before it's ready to go.
Clara likes her dressing salty, with a hefty punch of Dijon mustard, and I always add a little bit of honey to smooth out the rough edges. I usually just shake all the ingredients up in a jar, but feel free to whisk if that's your thing.
Note: The dressed beans are just as good the next day, and even a few days later. They start to semi-pickle in the vinaigrette, which both Clara and I enjoy.
Green Beans Vinaigrette
Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish
1 pound green beans
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
5 tablespoons good olive oil
Photos by James Ransom