Winter brings a whole new adventure to my salad world – an increase in roasted root vegetables, stronger lettuce flavors and toasted nuts to name a few. I find that the heartier the ingredients I use, the heartier the vinaigrette that pairs well with it. A classic balsamic vinaigrette is usually a perfect pairing, but I thought it would be fun to switch it up a little bit with the onslaught of fresh, flavorful apples!
While most balsamic vinaigrettes are usually naturally sweetened anyway (typically with honey or just the natural sweetness of a beautifully made balsamic itself), blending a sweet apple into the mix adds a good amount of natural sweetness as well. That’s not to say the good amount of nutrients and extra fiber, as well, which basically makes this vinaigrette a superfood!
While I’m a big believer in shopping your local market for seasonally appropriate ingredients, my favorite salad to top with this dressing is a bed of arugula and baby spinach, rotisserie chicken, toasted pecans, roasted sweet potato or pumpkin, and a sprinkling of feta cheese. It makes for a hearty salad that will last you until a cozy soup dinner and evening by the fire pit!
APPLE SWEETENED BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE
Makes about 1-1/4 cups vinaigrette
- 1 medium sweet apple, peeled and cored
- 1/3 cup De Nigris Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Combine all ingredients in a high-powered blender or food processor and blend until the apple and garlic are completely pureed and the mixture is emulsified.
Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Recipe and photo by De Nigris influencer @HeathersDish.