A Sweet, Simple Vermont Vinaigrette

Straight from the cozy country cottages of Vermont, this simple sweet salad dressing uses two secret ingredients… maple syrup, but I guess that’s no surprise, and malt vinegar. Malt vinegar is made by malting barley, causing the starch in the grain to turn to maltose. An ale is then brewed from the maltose and allowed to turn into vinegar, which is then aged. I find the malt vinegar to be not as tart and biting as the wine vinegars, and with a slightly smoky character.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 table spoons malt vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dark maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine all the ingredients into a shaking bottle and shake away. Then, shake some on your salad! Same as last time…

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A Simple, Sweet, Asian Dressing

We’re continuing to dress for spring, as its right around the corner. This is an Asian styled dressing which combines the acid of rice vinegar and the acidity of soy sauce to the oil. The rice vinegar is very light in flavor so it’s really used here to cut down on the very potent flavor of the soy sauce. If you went with a straight thee to one of oil to soy the results would be ‘not so good’. With a little ginger, honey, and garlic for emulsification, the flavors combine nicely into a basic Asian sauce.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

Combine all the ingredients into a shaking bottle and shake away. Then, shake some on your salad! Same as last time…

A Simple, Sweet Citrus Dressing

We’re dressing for spring, as its right around the corner. This is a light lemon dressing with a hint of orange that shows you don’t need vinegar for good dressing. The basic dressing formula s usually a three to one ration of oil to acid. The oil can be just about any oil you like, and the acid part can be too. But usually what gets overlooked in the oil / acid ratio is the fact that they usually don’t combine easily. So, what can you do to get oil and acidic water to mix? Emulsify! That’s where these other flavor compounds come into play. Whether its salt, sugar, or Dijon mustard, you need to have a good deal of fine grains in your dressing to emulsify the solution long enough to transport the dressing from the bottle to the salad. In this dressing, brown sugar, orange peel, and honey work to keep the oil and acid together.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom honey
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine all the ingredients into a shaking bottle and shake away. Then, shake some on your salad! Same as last time…

A Simple, Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette

Not for something different, simple dressings for salads, and a word or two about balsamic vinegar or ‘aceto balsamico’ to sound classy.

Surprise! The real balsamic vinegar isn’t a vinegar at all. True vinegar is acetic acid and water, the result of the fermentation of ethanol by acetic acid bacteria in various liquids which contain the simple sugars such as wine, cider, rice liquid. Which is where we get the express that vinegar is a good wine gone bad. But true Balsamic vinegar, the outrageously expensive bottle, isn’t the result of any fermentation, but is reduction of cooked white  Tebbiano grape juice. The Balsamic in my pantry is actually red wine vinegar with caramel color and ‘additives’ to make it an awful lot like the expensive one.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar, optional
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup olive oil

    Combine all the ingredients into a shaking bottle and shake away. Then, shake some on your salad!