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Monica's favorite gear for
making vinaigrettes
This Cuisinart is a work horse that gets lots of use in my kitchen. It mixes these vinaigrettes in no time.
This KitchenAid is top rated by Cooks Illustrated. It also works well for making these vinaigrettes.
These versatile little pitchers are perfect for serving dressing, gravy, and sauces.
I've had several kinds of spinners through the years, and this Oxo model is my favorite for washing and drying lettuce and greens.

Two Salad Vinaigrette Recipes | Maple Walnut & Cranberry

Perfect for dressing autumn and holiday greens.


Looking for holiday gifts for the foodie in your life?
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Here are two seasonal salad dressings that are great to make up and have on hand for harvest or holiday salads. The festive colors and flavors are all you need to dress up a bowl of your favorite fresh greens. 

I'm sharing two viniagrette recipes in this post. The Maple Walnut Viniagrette has a combination of sweet and nutty flavors from the maple syrup and walnuts. The oh-so-beautiufl Cranberry Viniagrette is tangy and refreshing. 

First, a little salad dressing science. Have you ever wondered why the oil and vinegar in some dressings separates no matter how much you stir or shake them, while some dressings stay mixed? Without getting too technical (couldn't even if I wanted to), there is science involved. In a nutshell, salad dressings that stay mixed have ingredients that serve as emulsifiers. Huh? Well, emulsifiers work to bind the ingredients like oil and vinegar that naturally want to separate. Some common emulsifiers that you see in salad dressing recipes are mustard, egg yolks, tomato paste, cream and garlic. Two things have to happen in order for your salad dressing to stay mixed: (1) There must be emulsifiers in the ingredients, and (2) the vinegar and flavorings have to be stirred rapidly (with a whisk, food processor, or blender) to break them into particles while oil is slowly added. End of science lesson--well, it was kind of sciency. Best I can do. (You can read more specifics about the science here.)

I say all that as an explanation of the ingredients and technique that I used in creating these viniagrette recipes. 

  • Both recipes stay mixed. The ingredients include mustard and garlic powder that work as emulsifiers. I demonstrate in the photos below how to stream in the oil so that the dressing mixes well and stays that way.
  • Both recipes are low fat. The cranberry sauce in one recipe and maple syrup and walnuts in the other provide enough body that it isn't necessary to add as much oil as is normally used in a vinaigrette.
  • Both recipes keep well in the fridge. Up to 2 weeks. I used garlic powder instead of fresh garlic so that it is safe to store it longer in the fridge. If you substitute fresh garlic in these recipes, make sure you use it within 1 week to avoid dangerous bacteria forming.

 

To skip the photos and tutorial and go straight to the recipes, here are the links:

View & Print Maple Walnut Vinaigrette Recipe 

View & Print Cranberry Vinaigrette Recipe 


How to make Maple Walnut Vinaigrette

Step 1. Assemble the ingredients: apple cider vinegar, pure maple syrup, salt, ground white pepper, ground dry mustard, garlic powder, & walnuts. Not pictured: olive oil and canola oil (or other neutral tasting oil).

maple vinaigrette ingredients

Step 2. Add everything except the oils to the food processor bowl. (You can also use a blender.) Turn it on and let it whirl until everything is pulverized. The walnuts should be completely pureed.

maple fp  maple mixed

Step 3. With the food processor running, slowly add the oils in a thin stream through the feed tube. Keep the food processor running until everything is well combined.

maple oil

Done! So easy, so delicious.

Maple Walnut Vinaigrette | TheYummyLife.com

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (for 1 tablespoon): 73 calories, 5.2g fat, 6.3 carbs, 5.3g sugar, 0g fiber, .9g protein; WeightWatchers PointsPlus: 2

Here's the recipe:


View & Print Maple Walnut Vinaigrette Recipe 

 

Here's a yummy salad that uses Maple Walnut Vinaigrette:
Click here for Harvest Salad with Pears, Dried Figs, & Pepitas recipe

IMG_8022cropthumb.jpg

 

How to make Cranberry Vinaigrette.

Step 1. Assemble the ingredients: olive oil, canola oil (or other neutral tasting oil), red wine vinegar, salt, ground white pepper, ground dry mustard, garlic powder, whole berry cranberry sauce. You can use store bought cranberry sauce or make your own. Here's my recipe:

View Classic Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Cranberry Vinaigrette ingredients

Step 2. Add everything except the oils to the food processor bowl. (You can also use a blender.) Turn it on and let it whirl until everything is pulverized. The cranberry sauce should be completely pureed.

cran fp  cran mixed

Step 3. With the food processor running, slowly add the oils in a thin stream through the feed tube. Keep the food processor running until everything is well combined.

cran oil  cran fp done

Done! Isn't it beautiful? I love that color. 

Cranberry Vinaigrette | TheYummyLife.com

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (for 1 tablespoon): 41 calories, 3.2g fat, 2.9 carbs, 2.5g sugar, 0g fiber, .1g protein; WeightWatchers PointsPlus: 1

Here's the recipe:


View & Print Cranberry Vinaigrette Recipe 

 

It's great to have both of these on hand. They taste very different, but both are delicious finishing touches on your holiday salads. Dress salad greens with either of these and add your favorite combination of dried fruit, apples, pears, nuts or cheese. They're festive and versatile throughout the holiday season. 

Maple Walnut  & Cranberry Vinaigrettes | TheYummyLife.com

Make it a yummy day!

Monica

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Posted on Friday, November 12th, 2010

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