To me food in the summer means salads, and salads require homemade dressing like my go-to, all-purpose white balsamic vinaigrette. To say that it’s been hot in Toronto is an understatement. On Monday it was hotter than L.A and Athens, when does that ever happen in May? Never. It’s only May and I couldn’t be happier with this weather, I’m definitely more of a fan of summer than I am of winter. There is really only one thing that you can eat during extreme heat and to me, that’s salad. I find that it’s really the salad dressing that makes the salad and while I am sometimes tempted to pickup a crazy bottled flavour in the grocery store, I quickly realize that the amount of added sugar, salt and fat is just not worth it. For now, I’m opting for healthier, homemade dressings such as this recipe for white balsamic vinaigrette or my classic recipe for balsamic vinaigrette. These are the two salad dressings I find myself making on a weekly basis.
This White Balsamic Vinaigrette is a light, fresh and healthy dressing that goes well on just about any salad. It uses a white balsamic vinegar, which is an interesting form of vinegar. Traditional balsamic vinegar has been made in Modena, Italy for thousands of years, and I’m a huge fan of the sweet and complex flavour it adds to dishes like my balsamic chicken legs or balsamic broccoli. White balsamic vinegar is a blend of white grape must and white wine vinegar, that is cooked at a high pressure and low temperature which is why it’s so light in colour. It’s also aged for only a year in either oak barrels or stainless steel, while with regular balsamic vinegar, the longer it’s aged the more valuable it is. The flavour of white balsamic vinegar is a brighter and cleaner flavour. The real reason why I often use white balsamic vinegar in recipes is for aesthetic reasons because it won’t turn your food dark brown the way regular balsamic vinegar does. That’s why I always have a bottle of it in my pantry and how this white balsamic vinegar recipe came about.
This recipe uses Dijon mustard, garlic powder, honey and oregano for flavour. You may be wondering why I opted to use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic, the truth is that I found using fresh garlic in this recipe to be a little overpowering while the garlic powder adds a more subtle garlic flavour.
- ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
- ½ tsp Dijon mustard
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp honey
- ½ tsp oregano
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- In a bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, garlic powder, honey and oregano.
- Slowly, while whisking, pour in the olive oil in a steady stream.
- Season to taste.
This White Balsamic Vinaigrette is a light and refreshing salad dressing perfect for the coming sweltering summer months.