Friday Feasts! - Balsamic Dressing

 I'm almost as in love with this cute little bottle I found at Homegoods as I am with this dressing. As you can see, I loved it so much it's almost gone! 

I'm almost as in love with this cute little bottle I found at Homegoods as I am with this dressing. As you can see, I loved it so much it's almost gone! 

It often feels like my entire life has been an ongoing effort to eat healthier, which is really hard because Dr Pepper and Doritos are freaking delicious. But I’m hopeful that if I keep at it long enough, eventually all the good, nutritious food I’ve discovered and incorporated into my diet will crowd out the junk.

As part of my latest efforts, I’ve been experimenting with making my own salad dressings. A lot of store-bought options are made with unhealthy oils and other ingredients I prefer not to eat. My go-to recipe has been an Olive Garden copycat Italian dressing (which I’ll share in a future post). But the other night I was making a salad with gorgonzola, walnuts and honeycrisp apples – some of my favorite toppings! I didn’t think the Italian dressing flavors would work as well with it, so I googled “balsamic dressing” and one of the first recipes that came up was this one from epicurious.com:

https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/balsamic-vinaigrette-234241

How I made it:

This recipe was so easy to make and SO delicious. I put all the ingredients into a tall, plastic cup and emulsified them with my stick blender, which turned it into a rich, creamy, dressing—while saving my wrist from all that whisking. But if you don’t have a stick blender, you can certainly make this with a whisk, as the recipe suggests.

The mustard and the garlic make it taste far more complex than you’d expect out of a 5-ingredient dressing. And—bonus!—those 5 ingredients are all things with long shelf-lives that I regularly have on hand, making this a great salad dressing to whip up in a pinch.

Julie Tweaks:

Even though I’ve been cutting back on sugar, I do add a pinch or two of organic sugar or a splash of real maple syrup to this because I prefer my vinaigrettes a little sweet. So if the taste is a little too strong and vinegary for you, maybe try adding a small amount of sweetener. I’m not usually much for artificial sweeteners, but I’m curious to try a little Stevia in this and see how that tastes.

I work from home and rarely need to be presentable, so the pungency of the garlic isn’t a problem for me.  But I think you could easily halve the garlic in this recipe and it wouldn’t be as strong. That’s what I’m going to do anytime I serve this to guests – which I intend to do! Because it’s so good, it needs to be shared!

Try it out and let me know what you think! And if you’ve got another go-to dressing recipe you love, please share!

 My favorite fall salad of romaine, honeycrisp apples, gorgonzola, walnuts, & this dressing

My favorite fall salad of romaine, honeycrisp apples, gorgonzola, walnuts, & this dressing