Q: My girlfriend recently returned from a trip to Germany and Switzerland. While there she ate a unique salad dressing that was very light, milky, and had a slight taste of vinegar with a bit of sweetness, but no herbs. We've tried to make it ourselves and had no success. Can you help us?
Lynne: There's a great love of sweet/sour, or creamy/tart flavors in that part of Europe. Perhaps they used crème fraîche, that very thick, naturally soured cream that has a slight tang and flavor of hazelnuts. It's found widely in France, although not exclusively. If you add a little vinegar and maybe a bit of grated onion you would end up with an incredible dressing. Another thing to try would be a variation of vinaigrette dressing made with about 1/4 cup vinegar; a teaspoon or two of sugar; about 2/3 cup of cream, crème fraîche, or sour cream; oil, salt, and pepper to taste; and maybe some finely grated onion or shallot. It's the sugar playing against the vinegar and cream that's really flavorful.