Balsamic vinaigrette is a go-to recipe for many home cooks, but sometimes it can be overpowering and even a bit sour.
This five-minute recipe solves that little issue with two secret ingredients (maple syrup and Dijon mustard), dramatically reinventing this go-to dressing for just about any summer salad.
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (or less to taste)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 clove garlic finely minced or pressed (optional, but delicious)
Salt and pepper to taste
Shake together all ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid (or whisk in a bowl) until well combined.
Pour over mixed greens or spinach and toss gently.
Store in the refrigerator.
Serving suggestions: We like this dressing tossed with Trader Joe’s bagged arugula (the best), spinach or mixed greens, topped with cherry tomatoes, honey goat cheese/chevre or AmaBlu cheese crumbles from Faribault (now sold at some Target stores), Fisher glazed pecans (from Amazon, Costco or Menards — life-changingly good) and grilled chicken, shrimp or portabella mushroom slices. You can also drizzle it over summer berries.
Why make your own? Most salad dressings (yes, even the fancy ones) are made with canola oil. Even the “olive oil” dressings list the olive oil after canola. They also contain preservatives and stabilizers, necessary to keep them from separating and for longer shelf life. Vinaigrettes are cheaper to make at home and they taste much better, too!
Source: Adapted from the home kitchen of Steve Lehman in St. Paul. He and his family produce maple syrup every year at Samara Sugar Bush in northern New York state.