It goes without saying, but dressing can really make or break a salad.
When it comes to freshness, homemade salad dressing trumps store-bought any day of the week. Because you’re making it at home, you can also control the amount of fat and sodium in the dressing—and you’ll avoid additives like the preservatives or added colors often found in the bottled kind.
Fresh, crisp apples make a perfect base for this light, springtime dressing. I chose Stemilt’s Pink Lady apples but feel free to use your favorite: Granny Smith for extra tang, Pinata for a tropical twist, or Braeburn for a note of spicy-sweetness. Be sure to chop the apple with the peel on for this dressing. Not only will you get the extra nutrients in the peel such as fiber, but you’ll also end up with tiny flecks of pretty pink peel throughout the dressing.
White balsamic is one of my favorite vinegars for homemade dressing. Less syrupy and sweet than regular balsamic, it’s both lighter in color and flavor. (If you’ve never used it, you’ll find it stocked alongside regular balsamic in your store.) I also chose to use mild, neutral vegetable or canola oil to let the other flavors shine through. Though most vinaigrette recipes call for whisking in the oil at the end to emulsify the dressing, blending it all together at once actually creates a texture of a creamy vinaigrette.
Creamy Apple Vinaigrette
Serves: About 12
Drizzle this sweet, creamy vinaigrette on your favorite salad combo. Here, I used mixed greens with slivered almonds, a sprinkle of goat cheese, and some thinly sliced apples.
- ½ large apple, chopped (with peel on)
- ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
- 2 tablespoons diced shallot
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Cover and refrigerate extra dressing, shaking to blend again before using.
Per 2 tablespoons (makes about 12 servings): Calories 93; Fat 9; Protein 0g; Carbohydrates 4g; Fiber 0g; Sugar 3g; Cholesterol 0mg; Potassium 24mg; Sodium 15mg.