Salads are on the menu most days around here, especially in the summer when produce is fresh and crisp. We save time and escape firing up the oven on hot summer evenings by grilling up a bunch of lean protein at the beginning of the week, then whipping up a hearty salad each night for a healthy dinner that’s ready in less than 15 minutes.
The other day, we ran out of our favorite dressing (Trader Joe’s Sesame Soy Ginger Vinaigrette), so it was time to whip up a quick vinaigrette with existing pantry items. I wanted something a little more interesting than just oil and vinegar, so I reached for the maple syrup and to my surprise, it was delicious! The result was a light and tangy dressing, with just a hint of maple sweetness. Even my fairly picky foodie husband gave it the thumbs up, so with that vote of confidence, I thought I’d share the recipe with you in case you have a salad dressing emergency of your own.
// Maple Vinaigrette //
2 Tablespoons: Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon: Red Wine Vinegar (I’d like to try it with Apple Cider Vinegar sometime too)
1 Tablespoon: Maple Syrup
Pinch of Salt (I used my herb salt!)
Pinch of cracked black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until emulsified. I prefer a tangy dressing, so this recipe has a little more vinegar than most standard vinaigrettes. If you prefer something less acidic, cut the vinegar in half or add another tablespoon of Olive Oil. This recipe yields enough for a 2-person salad, so double it up for salad for 4!
It doesn’t seem right to give you a salad dressing recipe all by it’s lonesome, so here is the secret to our favorite summer salad combination:
// Summer Salad //
Herb Salad Mix
Strawberries (sometimes blueberries too)
Red Bell Pepper
Roma Tomatoes (or Grape Tomatoes)
Salt & Pepper
Sunflower Seeds (or chopped pecans if you want to get fancy)
Here’s the tricky part – I don’t measure anything out. I know, you were hoping for an actual recipe. Just start by placing the greens (we love a good herb salad mix) into a bowl, then build up your salad with the other produce ingredients until it looks like the sort of salad you’d like eat. Once you are happy with the mix, toss in your vinaigrette, & sprinkle with salt & pepper. I like to add the feta and sunflower seeds after the salad is served (this keeps them from getting soggy in the dressing).
To you foodies out there, I was trying to think of herbs or spices that could enhance the maple vinaigrette and I’m stumped! The maple flavor is throwing me a curveball, all I can think of is breakfast. Any ideas?
Shot with VSCOCAM on an iPhone 5