I love balsamic vinegar, as does the rest of my household. In fact, I just bought a fresh bottle from a local wine maker in Barrie last month and have been roasting my vegetables with it ever since. That's one of my favourite ways to use it. It adds so much flavour! They make their own and sell it at a very good price. This stuff is gold!
It's such a versatile ingredient and I love using it to make all kinds of salad dressings and vinaigrette's. It's also a great addition to warm toasty sandwiches. I have yet to be adventurous enough to try it on ice cream. Apparently it's to die for, but for now I think I'm just going to stick to making salad dressings and marinades with it. I bet it would be great in a reduction! Hmm, me thinks I'll have to come up with something. . .
Balsamic vinaigrette isn't very hard to make; all you have to do is mix some balsamic vinegar with olive oil right?
Well sort of, but not really. It's not set in stone, but it's important remember to use a 3 to 1 ratio of oil to vinegar. This is the sweet spot when it comes to making a salad dressing. Often people will use too much vinegar and it comes out tasting harsh or tart. If you use this ratio as a general guide next time you make a dressing then you'll never need a recipe again. And of course it's important to let your taste buds be the judge. Only you know what you like. Take a taste test by dipping a small leaf of lettuce in and give a try!
Now, Let's face it, store bought salad dressings can be pretty atrocious when it comes to long lists of strange ingredients that you can't pronounce. This vinaigrette will beat any store bought version hands down.
Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette (makes approx. 1 cup)
- 1 tbsp whole-grain Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
- To make the dressing combine the mustard and vinegar in a large mixing bowl or blender. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking to emulsify. Whisk in the maple syrup and season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
- Store in a jar with a lid or air tight container and keep refrigerated.
*Make sure your olive oil is at room temperature. If it is cold it will be more difficult to emulsify with the vinegar.
*If you let the dressing sit for an hour or so and then refrigerate, the flavours will meld together better.
I can't wait until apples are in-season and then I can start adding them to my salads along with this vinaigrette. Maybe some soft crumbled goat cheese and dried Bala cranberries too!
I'm getting ahead of myself. I shouldn't start wishing for fall when summer only just started, even though it's my favourite time of year.
Fall is far too short and winter is way too long. I should just buy an island with a small boat somewhere tropical and live there during winter.