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.
If you haven't already checked out my other homemade dressing, Moroccan Vinaigrette, then you really should check that one out as well. It's wonderful and has been on our table for basically every meal for–well–I don't know how long. It's 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 a 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
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Anyway, 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!)
Well, one of the cookbooks that I turned to is an old favorite of mine, Cybele Pascal's The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook.
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, my old favorite, Moroccan Vinaigrette 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. There are too many fake olive oils on the market.
I currently purchase mine from Costco but I'm trying out some new olive oil that I hope to share with you all soon.
2. Balsamic Vinegar
Cybele also specifically mentions using a brand of balsamic that's been aged at least 10 years. Now, the highest-rated balsamic on Amazon is 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). I'd buy this one for sure!
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!!
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 small garlic cloves, minced very fine
- 20 fresh basil leaves, chopped or torn
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 4 tsp. Dijon mustard (see below for substitutions)
If you don’t keep prepared mustard in the house, or if you are avoiding it due to dietary restrictions, you can substitute the following -
- 4 tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- 2 2/3 tsp ground yellow mustard
- 2/3 tsp salt (I use Real Salt)
1. Blend garlic through mustard into a paste.
2. Add apple cider vinegar and balsamic and mix completely.
3. Add the olive oil slowly, blending while adding.
Alternative "Quick" Method
1. Mix all ingredients in a glass container.
2. Serve :-).
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 Tbsp dried basil instead of fresh basil.
- Dill Dressing - Substitute 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill (or 1 Tbsp dried) for the basil
- Oregano Dressing - Substitute 4 tsp fresh or 1 tsp dried oregano for the basil
- Parsley Dressing - Substitute 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (or 1 Tbsp dried) for the basil
- Shallot Dressing - Substitute 1 small shallot, minced, for the garlic and omit the basil
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!