This past weekend, I stumbled upon Bella Gusta, a new olive oil and vinegar store/tasting room in West Hartford Center. They sell infused olive oils and balsamic vinegars–varieties of which I’d never seen or dreamed of–all yours for the sampling! I was drawn to chocolate, grapefruit and jalapeno vinegars, but came home with espresso. Talk about espresso love!

I’m sure the possibilities are endless, but my first experiment was vinaigrette: deep, dark, dense and delectable! Now I really need to come up with a sexier salad to serve it with.

ESPRESSO HAZELNUT VINAIGRETTE

¼ cup hazelnut oil
¼ cup canola oil
¼ cup espresso balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons coarse ground mustard
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper

Whisk mustard, salt and pepper in a bowl. Drizzle in oil, whisking continually till incorporated, then slowly whisk in vinegar. Serve over your favorite sexy salad. You’ll be CRAZY about it!

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