I've been meaning to get this Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe to you all for awhile now.
Life has been crazy and things really get in the way sometimes, you know?
Anyhow, this one is a real keeper. And it's a great homemade salad dressing for those with food allergies as well - no dairy and some substitutions that should make this work for anyone.
It's wonderful and has been on our table for basically every meal for--well--I don't know how long. It's just that great.
I love having homemade seasonings and such on the table to dress up even the most
bland simple meal.
You know - like we've got a plate of whole grain, a protein source, beans, and some veggies -
Kind of blah-
But when you add some amazing toppings like
- Moroccan Vinaigrette
- Chat Masala
- or this - our new dressing, which might be the Best Salad Dressing of all
you can turn Blah into Wow. It may not be the prettiest meal, but your taste buds will surely thank you! And when you make these seasonings and dressings yourself, your wallet will thank you too!!!
Where This Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette Originated
Awhile ago I thought I'd try to shake things up a bit with a new dressing to grace our table and I went searching through my cookbooks and even put a shout out to readers on my Facebook page asking for the best salad dressing recipes. (If you haven't become a fan yet, you really should. I share tons of great things I find on the internet that I don't have time to blog about - and I also post reader questions so we can help each other out. Good stuff. Great community!)
A Favorite Cookbook
Well, one of the cookbooks that I turned to is an old favorite of mine, Cybele Pascal's The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook.
I LOVE this book. Cybele's book is basically the first cookbook I bought when we knew we were dealing with food allergies in our household (if you haven't read it yet, check out my posts on Eczema and Food Allergies - From Despair to Healing).
Some of the recipes in this book have become family favorites (like Raf's Cuban Rice and Beans, Four Bean Stew, and yummy Coconut Squares) - it's one of those cookbooks that you will turn to again and again. - Note, it does use gluten (barley) and a fair amount of sugar, but I just adapt to our family's needs.
Well, anyway, once I read the description of Cybele's recipe, My Favorite Dressing, I just knew I needed to make it.
And boy, am I glad that I did. You will be too.
Cybele is the wife of Adam Pascal, a famous Broadway actor. And they live in a very "posh" area of New York (I used to date someone from the town where they live, and you could see Billy Joel's house from my boyfriend's grandmother's backyard. Really. That kind of "posh" :-). Anyway, if this dressing is Adam's favorite - you can bet it's a winner.
Here's the quote from the book:
This salad dressing never wears out its welcome. I've been making it for 15 years and every single time I have dinner guests they say, "Yum! What's in this dressing?!" My husband refuses to eat his salad with anything else.
Sounds good, right? Well, let me add that if this balsamic vinaigrette is on the table, our old favorite, the Moroccan Vinaigrette mentioned above, takes a back seat.
Enough, right? Let's get on with the recipe.
The only thing I've changed is one ingredient -- and I've doubled Cybele's recipe and I've added some dietary options. We eat this so fast you'll want to at least double it. Truth is, I make a quadruple batch each time :-)!
Before we get to the recipe for the Balsamic Vinaigrette, here are some tips to help you have the best tasting vinaigrette possible.
1. Olive Oil
Cybele recommends using only high quality olive oil. I concur. I mean, of course who wants to use fake olive oil, but in case you didn't know, there are a lot of them out there.
I currently purchase mine from Costco but I'm hoping to try out more later. The Kirkland brand has been tested and it's quality has been verified.
2. Balsamic Vinegar
Cybele specifically mentions using a brand of balsamic that's been aged at least 10 years. At the time of writing this post, the highest-rated balsamic on Amazon was priced over $40 for 8.5 ounces - ouch! This one is waaay cheaper and still gets great ratings - even high ratings from Cooks Illustrated apparently (see the ratings). So that's one good choice.
However, since balsamic is made from grapes and they are often sprayed a lot, I would go for organic over the "10 year" rule and choose a good organic brand.
2. Love using fresh herbs? See my post on The Easiest Way to Preserve Herbs
Want some more ways to add flavor to your table? You for sure should check out:
- Chat Masala (on our table all. the. time - think it tops everything (except desserts, of course :-)!)
- Homemade Taco Seasoning
- Homemade Herbes de Provence
- Great All Purpose Seasoning (makes an AMAZING popcorn topping too!)
- I think this dressing would be wonderful on my "Throw it Together Pasta Dinner" Yum!!
- Substitute 1/4 cup apple cider or red wine vinegar plus 2 teaspoons xylitol or a dash of stevia for the balsamic vinegar for low carb / Trim Healthy Mama - S.
- The original recipe called for unseasoned rice vinegar but I use apple cider vinegar instead for it's extra health benefits.
- You could use about 2 tablespoons dried basil instead of fresh basil.
- I use xylitol, vegetable glycerine or 1 scoop stevia extract instead of honey for a low-carb option.
- Dill Dressing - Substitute 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill (or 1 tablespoon dried) for the basil.
- Oregano Dressing - Substitute 4 teaspoons fresh or 1 teaspoon dried oregano for the basil.
- Parsley Dressing - Substitute 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tablespoon dried) for the basil.
- Shallot Dressing - Substitute 1 small shallot, minced, for the garlic and omit the basil.
Easy Healthy Balsamic Vinaigrette - 1 Recipe 5 Ways -- vegan, low-carb option
- Blend garlic, basil, honey, and mustard into a paste.
- Add apple cider vinegar and balsamic and mix completely.
- Add the olive oil slowly, blending while adding.
Alternative "Quick" Method
- Simply mix all ingredients in a glass container.
- Serve :-).
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is merely an approximation. Optional ingredients are not included and when there is an alternative, the primary ingredient is typically used. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts since they have been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
Now, truthfully, I typically don't even bother to blend this dressing and it is still wonderful. But of course, blend away if you'd like. I think you will love it either way!
I look forward to seeing what you think of this dressing!
Do you have a favorite salad dressing to share?