Cooking From Every Angle

Maple Syrup Vinaigrette

October 27, 2009 • 10 Comments

Last week, a colleague emailed me for some help with a piece she was writing on maple syrup -- specifically, on how lots of chefs are using it in savory dishes. She may have seen a short blurb I wrote on Grade B maple syrup when it was all the rage a couple of years ago, or she may just have been asking for my input as a cook and an eater. But it got me thinking. Last year, I created a fall salad for a dinner party that went over particularly well; I used maple syrup in the vinaigrette, which I hadn't done before (if a dressing is too tart, I typically add a bit of honey or raw sugar). At the time, I made a mental note to start using maple syrup in my salad dressings on a regular basis. Alas, good intentions are not always enough: time and time again over the past year, it slipped my mind, and my vinaigrettes remained sadly syrup-free.

Until tonight. My friend's email provided just the right inspiration, and this evening as I was about to whip up a standard balsamic/Dijon/rice wine vinegar/olive oil concoction, my eyes landed on the bottle of maple syrup in the fridge, and I altered course. This version of a maple syrup vinaigrette is a bit simpler than the one I used for last year's salad, but in my mind no less appealing. The syrup rounds out the sharp edges, cutting the acid and giving the dressing a mellow richness. Let me know how you like it. For more ideas about how to use maple syrup in savory cooking, you can check out this nifty little piece.

Maple Syrup and Dijon Vinaigrette

Makes about 2/3 cup

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 
  • salt and freshly ground pepper 
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, shake together the vinegars, maple syrup, Dijon and salt and pepper to taste. Add the olive oil and shake again until the dressing is fully emulsified. Taste and adjust maple syrup, salt and pepper if necessary.

Comments (10)

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over 4 years ago thirschfeld

I really like a syrup from souther Indiana called Shagbark Hickory Syrup. It is a little more smokey and it works great with Bourbon and lots of cracked black pepper and butter. Reduce it some to burn off the alcohol and pour it over a pork chop or NY strip.

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over 4 years ago francesmary

I make a similar dressing, not vinaigrette though, for winter salads. I use mayo and sour cream as base, rice vinegar, Grade B maple syrup, and dijon. The important addition is juice of half a lemon. It adds freshness to the taste. The salad is greens, thinly sliced apple or pear, dried tart cherries, glazed walnuts and Roquefort cheese. Delish.

Steve_dunn02

over 4 years ago Oui, Chef

This sounds yummy, I think I'll make some for tonight's salad. There are some great maple recipes in "Cooking with Shelburne Farms" including a maple-ginger vinaigrette that is to die for. Thanks for reminding me of the versatility of this delicious treat.

Merrill

over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Thanks for mentioning the Shelburne Farms book!

Ozoz_profile

over 4 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

We love maple syrup - I swap it in practically all recipes which call for honey...I even have it in coffee! This vinagrette sounds lush....... with some lemon thyme, the sky's the limit

Merrill

over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

I often make a similar vinaigrette using a bit of balsamic vinegar and fresh thyme. I'll have to try maple syrup in my coffee one of these days -- sounds delicious!

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over 4 years ago slothrop

That's funny--we've been making that very vinaigrette for years, sometimes varying the vinegars.

Pati_in_chair_low_res_med

over 4 years ago Pati Jinich

That sounds like a perfect and easy to make dressing! May even make my boys eat salad. They love maple syrup. Since they like it so much, I use it to marinate chicken, with a combination of soy sauce, lime juice, and a touch of Jalapeno chilies. It is tasty. Will give your dressing a try. Thanks!

Merrill

over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Hope you like it!

Gwen-powderhorn

over 4 years ago Chef Gwen

That looks delicious. I thought maple syrup in vinaigrette rang a bell, so I checked my ranch cookbook, and there is a recipe in there for baby romaine with maple vin, but it also contains some honey and cider vinegar. I'm going to try your version because I like the sound of the sherry and red wine vinegar. Thanks!