Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Verjuice Vinaigrette Recipe

Fabrication du verjus (Making Verjuice) 

GrĂ¼nernte von Weintrauben. Aus dem Handbuch der Familie Corutti in Verona um 1375
Source: Wikimedia Commons

About Verjuice
Verjuice actually means "green juice." It is an acidic liquid made from unripe sour grapes or crabapples. Verjuice is a good substitute for lemon juice or vinegar. It has a sour taste but is much fruitier and more mild than vinegar.

Verjuice was used in Roman cookery and as a medicine and was very popular in Middle Eastern cookery and European cooking, from the Medieval days to well into the 19th century. American recipes in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries also sometimes contained verjuice. 

Verjuice was mostly found in recipes for salad dressing, soups, stews, and sauces. For example, the recipe for Mutton with Yellow Sauce from Le Menagier de Paris, a French medieval book written in the late 14th c. contains verjuice:

Mutton with Yellow Sauce
The Good Wife's Guide,  Le Menagier de Paris, A Medieval Household Book.  Translated, with Critical Introduction, by Gina L. Greco & Christine M. Rose, Cornell University Press, 2009.

Cut the meat--it must be flank--into pieces when completely raw.  Cook it in water, then grind a piece of ginger and some saffron and thin it with verjuice, wine, and vinegar.

Here is another recipe that uses verjuice, from a cookbook published in New York about 400 years later:

No.12 To Make a Sauce for a Sweet Pie
The Frugal Housewife, or Complete Woman Cook; Also The Making of English Wines. 
by Sussannah Carter. New York: 1803. 

Take some white wine, a little lemon juice, or verjuice, and some sugar; boil it, then beat two eggs, and mix them well together; then open your pie, and pour it in. This may be used for veal or lamb pies.

Verjuice Vinaigrette
I was experimenting with verjuice and came up with this recipe for a salad dressing. I really like it because the verjuice imparts a lot of flavor and sweetness without the need to add any sugar. 


  • 1/2 Cup Verjuice 
  • 2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper, to Taste

  1. Mix altogether and shake.  
  2. Serve on a salad of your choice. 

You can order verjuice
at www.igourmet.com

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