Recently at Metropolis, I picked up a Frisee Salad with cranberries, candied walnuts and manchego cheese. It was accompanied by a little cup of shallot vinaigrette. I didn't know, when I opened that clam shell box, that I'd be getting the best packaged salad of my life (so far.) Sure the ingredients appealed to me that's why I bought it to begin with. But it was better than that. That little container held an tangy dressing that stood up to the slightly bitter frisee and accentuated those cranberries and walnuts. The dry manchego balanced it all. After devouring the salad I went back to look at the label. It had come from the Southport Grocery and Cafe'. They sell their products wholesale to companies that apparently care about quality, like Metropolis. I wrote Southport Grocery to comment on the deliciousness of their salad and then I promptly set out to make a similar vinaigrette.
So far the closest thing I've found to mimic that flavor is a very simple minced shallot, white balsamic vinegar and vegetable oil mixture. Olive oil is definitely wrong here, unless maybe it is just my peppery extra virgin. Still I think I'm missing something, maybe a squeeze of lemon, but I'm close to what I remember. This salad is done with spinach, dried cherries, non-candied walnuts and manchego. Dear husband enjoyed it quite a bit and that's good because he will continue to see it until I get that vinaigrette perfect.