I’m always being asked about interesting salad dressings and how to make them. Once you learn how to make a basic vinaigrette, you can experiment and make hundreds of variations depending on what greens you use and what you are serving it with.
This recipe calls for using real maple syrup but of course you can use the commercial stuff most of us put on our kid’s pancakes that is mostly sugar. The difference between real maple syrup and the imitation brands is huge and if you find you can spend a couple of extra dollars, it’s worth trying the real thing especially when you are using it in such limited quantity as in this recipe.
Check out my recipe for a Basic Mustard Vinaigrette
Maple Shallot Vinaigrette
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small shallot, minced
3 tablespoons real maple syrup
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
¼ cup canola oil
How To Prepare At Home
Start by heating the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat until hot. Sauté the shallot until soft and translucent, about 1 minute.
Remove the shallots to your favorite bowl for making salad dressing. Some like using a shallow cereal bowl; I like using a recycled jar with a lid that I can store the extra dressing. Add the maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, mustard and just a pinch of salt and pepper. We will adjust seasonings at the end.
Now comes the critical step of adding the canola oil to the bowl. You want to add the oil slowly and in a steady stream while you are either whisking with a small whisk or mixing with a fork but don't stop blending.
This will help emulsify the oil and the vinegar, two substances that don't like to stay mixed together. The mustard also helps by acting as an emulsifying agent. When you are done adding the oil to the dressing, let it sit for a bit to meld flavors.
You can serve right away, but you may find the dressing even better in a few hours or even the next day.
Serve this with a nice selection of mixed greens. In the photo above, I've added some crumbled blue cheese for another layer of flavor.
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