Balsamic vinegar and honey (along with a bit of mustard) pack a lot of flavor in this sweet-yet-tangy salad dressing. If you've never made dressing before, I predict that you will be delighted with just how easy it is—and just how much you like being able to control exactly what and how much goes into your salad. Feel free to adjust all the seasonings to your taste and use this recipe as more of a guideline towards deliciousness.
This recipe makes enough for 4 to 6 cups of salad greens. Have a bigger crowd coming? It doubles or triples easily.
Note: The dressing also stores for up to a week, so go ahead and make a bigger batch that will let you dress several salads over the coming days.
- In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard, and honey. (If you're using the dressing right away, do as I do and make the dressing right in the bottom of the large salad bowl; if you're making it ahead consider making the dressing in a jar—instead of whisking, just screw on the lid and shake it together!)
- Peel and mince the shallot. Add it to the dressing. If you want to add the additional kick of garlic, peel that, mince it, and add it as well. Whisk them into the dressing. Add the salt and pepper and whisk those in, too. Let the dressing sit 5 to 10 minutes for the flavors to blend a bit.
- Taste the dressing—the best way to do this is to dip a lettuce leaf into the dressing so you taste how the dressing will work on the salad. Add more salt and/or pepper if you think it needs it. You can also adjust the amount of honey and mustard to make it sweeter or more pungent, respectively. Too strong? Consider whisking in an additional tablespoon of oil (or just add a tablespoon of warm water to dilute the flavor a bit).
Use the dressing immediately, or keep covered and chilled for up to a week. Note and be warned that if you chill the dressing the olive oil will congeal and look nasty. Fret not, while it will look pretty gross at first, it will "melt" back to normal when it comes to room temperature; you can hurry this along by shaking or whisking it regularly.