It's always good to have a few recipes that are so simple to remember, you know them by heart and can whip them up in an instant. Ones that enliven your kitchen, enrich your meals, and bring vibrant flavors to your plate. This maple vinaigrette is one of those recipes.
It's vibrant with the rich flavor of real maple syrup, touched by stoneground mustard and finely minced shallots. It comes together with a swift shake of your mason jar, and you can use it to dress salads of robust greens, roasted vegetables or even to drizzle on top of roasted pork.
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How to Make a Maple Vinaigrette
You make a classic vinaigrette by whisking together three parts oil to one part vinegar. By whisking these ingredients together, you form a very loose and volatile emulsification, but that holds together well enough to dress your salad but will break or separate the longer it sits. Other ingredients, like maple syrup and mustard, can help the vinaigrette to maintain its emulsification a little bit longer, and they also do wonders to enhance the flavor of the dressing, too.
Maple syrup can gently soften the bracing acidity of apple cider vinegar, while stone ground mustard and finely minced shallots provide a nice punch of flavor. Grade A Amber Maple Syrup by Coomb's, a family-run maple producer out of the North East, is particularly nice in salads because it has a light flavor that won't overpower the dressing or your salad.
You can serve this maple vinaigrette over any salad, but it's particularly nice drizzled over a peppery arugula and other more assertive winter greens as it stands up well to robust flavors. Toss in thinly sliced pears, fresh cranberries, roasted winter squash and you have a nice, hearty winter salad, especially if you drop a few hazelnuts in for crunch. It's also nice served over roasted root vegetables, since maple pairs brilliantly with carrots and parsnips.
Maple Vinaigrette Recipe
- Spoon all the ingredients into an 8-ounce mason jar, and shake vigorously until the vinaigrette begins to emulsify. Serve immediately over fresh salad greens, or roasted or fresh vegetables.
- Store the vinaigrette at room temperature up to two days, or store it in the fridge up to one month. Shake the vinaigrette thoroughly before serving, to reintegrate the oil and vinegar. If you store the vinaigrette in the fridge, bring it to room temperature several hours before you plan to serve it as some olive oils will solidify when kept at cold temperatures.
What's Grade A Maple Syrup and Where to Find It
All real maple syrup is classified as "Grade A." And since Nourished Kitchen is all about real food, you'll want to make certain you're using the real thing - and real maple syrup not only provides sweetness to this vinaigrette, it also provides a punch of deep nourishment in the way of minerals like calcium and magnesium and antioxidants, too. But more than that, real maple syrup offers unparalleled flavor, and that's the heart of any good meal.
Maple syrup is further classified by color, and Grade A Amber Maple syrup has a light color and a delicate maple flavor that won't overpower the vinaigrette or the salad you add it to.
We worked with Coomb's Family Farms, a sustainable maple producer from New England that has been making maple syrup for seven generations. You can find their Amber maple syrup in many natural markets as well as online here.
Like this Maple Vinaigrette? Check out other ways to use maple syrup.
Maple is a prominent flavor in traditional, real American culinary heritage where its rich, robust sweetness graces plentiful Harvest Cakes, Pecan Pies and other sweets. It's a marvelous sweetener, blending beautifully with rich spices like cinnamon, ginger and cloves, but it's that rich complexity that also makes it an excellent sweetener, used lightly, to provide depth to savory dishes, too.
Maple balances the bright flavor of citrus in this Maple Brined Turkey.
It provides a nice richness to these Sourdough Einkorn Rolls.
And it gives a lovely depth to this recipe for Roasted Root Vegetable Soup.