Editors' Picks

Maple Syrup Vinaigrette

October 27, 2009

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.

Shop the Story

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.
Order now

A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

Order now

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • thirschfeld
  • francesmary
  • Oui, Chef
    Oui, Chef
  • Kitchen Butterfly
    Kitchen Butterfly
  • slothrop
Food52 (we cook 52 weeks a year, get it?) is a food and home brand, here to help you eat thoughtfully and live joyfully.


thirschfeld February 24, 2010
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.
francesmary October 29, 2009
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.
Oui, C. October 28, 2009
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 S. October 29, 2009
Thanks for mentioning the Shelburne Farms book!
Kitchen B. October 27, 2009
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 S. October 28, 2009
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!
slothrop October 27, 2009
That's funny--we've been making that very vinaigrette for years, sometimes varying the vinegars.
Pati J. October 27, 2009
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 S. October 28, 2009
Hope you like it!
Chef G. October 27, 2009
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!