If the idea of a warm vinaigrette blows your mind a little bit, welcome to my life about five years ago. While I was working at The Rachael Ray Show, my producer, Emily — as she would often do — took advantage of some downtime between segments to make lunch from whatever odds and ends were in our walk-in refrigerator. Business as usual.
With a head of escarole, pound of bacon, jar of mustard and shallot in hand, she turned an otherwise standard-issue lunch salad on its head right before my very eyes.
Call me sheltered, but I had honestly never had a warm vinaigrette before! While the principle of a vinaigrette is the same warm or cold — whisk together an acid and an emulsifier and get to tossing — doing the whole thing warm (with the added help of a pound of bacon) was transformative. Not only did it show that hearty escarole who was boss, but it was an easy and impressive lesson — one of many, I might add, that came out of working in the prep kitchen of that show — that sticks with me to this very day.