Neroli, Petitgrain, and Orange Blossom Vinaigrette

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Yield:

    1 cup

Appears in

Sauces

By James Peterson

Published 1991

  • About

Any number of approaches can be used for making an orange vinaigrette. Orange zests can be infused into the oil, reduced orange juice (by vacuum if you have the equipment; see Vacuum Pumps) can be added to or used to replace the vinegar, and citric acid (sour salt) can be added to add an extra tart citrus dimension.

Perhaps most exciting, essential oils and absolutes can be whisked into the vinaigrette to give it depth and dimension that would be next to impossible otherwise. This recipe features three derivatives of the orange. Petitgrain is made by distilling the twigs and leaves of the tree. It has a clean, vibrant aroma, orange-like but with other aspects. Neroli is expensive because it is distilled from the orange flowers, not the branches. Most expensive of all is orange blossom absolute; it offers an entirely different aroma than neroli even though its source is the same.

Ingredients

orange juice ½ cup 125 ml
lemon juice ¼ cup 60 ml
xanthan gum 0.1 g
liquid lecithin 2 drops (about 0.1 g)
inert-tasting oil such as avocado 1 cup 125 ml
diluted petitgrain solution (or more as needed) 1 drop 1 drop
20% neroli solution (or more as needed) 1 drop 1 drop
20% orange blossom absolute solution (or more as needed) 1 drop 1 drop
salt and pepper to taste to taste

Method

  1. Combine the orange and lemon juices and reduce down to 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters), under vacuum if you have one (see Vacuum Pumps). Stir the xanthan gum into the reduction.
  2. Stir the lecithin into the oil, then blend the oil into the juice reduction. If you’re whisking or using an immersion blender, add the oil slowly as though making mayonnaise. If you’re using a rotor stator homogenizer, just mix everything together and blend until the vinaigrette is white and thick.
  3. Whisk in the essential oil solutions to taste and season with salt and pepper.