just a pinch: vinegar

November 26th, 2012

So if you thought I knew next to nothing about olive oil….well, I know even less about vinegar. The collection in my pantry has been amassed solely based on whatever my various recipes called for – and it’s about as uninspired as it gets. Red wine, balsamic, apple cider and all-purpose white.


While I was sampling Pure Mountain’s delicious olive oils, Gwenn invited me to taste a few different vinegars as well. I had no idea that vinegar – really good vinegar – could stand all on its own. As a simple dressing. In sweet as well as savory dishes. And that it could be mellow, subtle and absolutely delicious.

photo courtesy of Pure Mountain Olive Oil

As with the oils, I got to try a few flavors, and they were all lovely. But the one I wanted to take home and cook with (and did – that very night) was the lemon white balsamic. White balsamics were new to me, and I love that they don’t darken the color of the dish the way traditional balsamics do.

I made a shrimp dish that I knew would be the perfect match for this vinegar, and it was deemed a “keeper” by all. I can’t wait to drizzle it over roasted asparagus when it’s back in season, and am dying to try it mixed with some chopped basil as a “dip” for some crusty bread too.

pasta with shrimp tomatoes and lemon vinaigrette

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pasta with shrimp tomatoes and lemon vinaigrette

Pasta with Shrimp, Tomatoes and Lemon Vinaigrette

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
6 T. extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 lb. whole wheat spaghetti
1-1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
3 T. Pure Mountain Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
generous handful of parsley or basil, coarsely chopped

Pre-heat oven to 450. Heat a large pot of water to boiling; add spaghetti and cook till al dente.

While water is heating up and pasta is cooking, place garlic and oil in a shallow baking dish – bake for 5 minutes, or till garlic is lightly colored. Add the shrimp, 2 tablespoons of the vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste; toss to combine. Bake shrimp, turning once, until just cooked through – about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in remaining tablespoon of vinegar.

Drain pasta and return to pot – gently toss with shrimp mixture, tomatoes and parsley or basil. Season with salt and pepper.

(print this recipe)

This delicious recipe brought to you by Donuts, Dresses and Dirt

How would you use this – or any other – flavored vinegar?

For a pinch of maple syrup

For a pinch of olive oil

Note: I was not compensated for this post. I was provided with samples of vinegar to try, but all opinions expressed here are completely my own.

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