This sweet maple vinaigrette mixes up in 5 minutes and allows the maple flavor to shine. With just 5 ingredients (no mustard), this dressing adds a sweet and tangy element to your favorite salad.
Oil – I tested this recipe with extra virgin olive oil and was not happy with the results. EVOO has quite a strong flavor and masked the maple. So the recipe calls for a neutral flavored oil like avocado, sunflower or canola. Light olive oil can be used as well if you prefer olive oil.
Maple syrup – Maple syrup comes in different grades now known as golden, amber, dark and very dark. Golden is the lightest in color, the sweetest and has a mild maple flavor. Very dark, obviously, is the darkest in color, is slightly less sweet and has the strongest maple flavor. Any of these will work but I prefer the very dark as it has the strongest maple flavor.
Vinegar – Apple cider vinegar works very well with the maple flavor and is my preference. You could use white balsamic, white wine vinegar or even plain white vinegar if you don’t have apple cider vinegar.
I love a little onion flavor in my salad dressings. My preferred is some chopped chives. Granulated onion, onion powder or some chopped shallot would work as well
And finally a little salt enhances all the other flavors and balances out the sweet and sour of the maple and vinegar.
The rule of thumb with vinaigrette dressings is to use 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil. So for example, if you start with 1/4 cup vinegar, you would use 3/4 cup oil.
The addition of maple syrup changes the typical vinaigrette ratio. The maple syrup tames the sour flavor of the vinegar, so the recipe is closer to 1 part vinegar to 2 parts oil.
This all is really just a starting point. Everyone’s tastebuds are different. So mix up the recipe as is and taste. Adjust the flavor until YOU like it – here’s how:
- If you prefer your vinaigrette more sour, you can increase the vinegar. I know that many of my clients prefer it one part vinegar to two parts oil. Add a teaspoon or two at a time.
- Do you prefer it sweeter? Add more maple syrup 1-2 teaspoons at a time.
- Is it too sour? Add more oil or a little maple syrup.
- Does it need something extra but you’re not sure? Add more salt a pinch or two at a time.
- Apple Walnut Green Salad – Top your favorite leafy greens with sliced apple, shredded carrots, sliced Persian cucumbers and chopped walnuts.
- Kale and Pear Salad – Chop the kale and toss with the dressing. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Top with diced pear and crispy bacon.
- Artichoke and Parmesan Salad – Use arugula as the base and top with artichoke hearts and shaved parmesan cheese.
5 Minute Sweet Maple Vinaigrette
- ⅓ c apple cider vinegar
- ¼ c maple syrup
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅔ c oil – avocado, sunflower, canola or other neutral flavored vegetable oil
- 2 tsp finely chopped chives
- This vinaigrette can be mixed in the blender, with an immersion blender or by hand with a whisk.
To mix by hand
- Place the vinegar, maple syrup and salt in a small mixing bowl. Beat thoroughly with a whisk.
- While whisking, gradually pour in half of the oil. Beat briskly until it is combined. Then drizzle in the remaining oil and beat thoroughly.
To mix with a blender or immersion blender
- Blend all of the ingredients except the chives until the mixture is cloudy and slightly foamy.
- Stir in the chopped chives.
- Taste. Feel free to adjust the flavor to your preference. Add more vinegar to make it more sour, more maple syrup to make it sweeter (or less sour), and more salt a pinch or two at a time if it's blah.
- Place in a bottle or jar. Shake well before pouring. This vinaigrette dressing can be stored at room temperature for one week.