Art’s Apple Cider Vinaigrette
You should know that Art won the “Vinaigrette-off” contest in the test kitchen. His version was perfectly thick, tart, sweet, tangy and made everyone who dipped in a spoon say “yummmmmm”!
1 small apple, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon shallot, chopped
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons honey
Dash cayenne pepper
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar (we like “Braggs”)
1/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste (just a sprinkle does it)
Pull out your food processor and toss in the chopped apple, shallot, mustard, honey and cayenne. (Now, if you can handle it, we truly like this dressing with a kick so don’t be too shy on the cayenne; a generous pinch should do it) Give the machine several pulses to chop everything finely. Add the cider vinegar and let the machine run until the mixture is pretty smooth. Here’s the real trick of making any good vinaigrette: you must add the oil to the dressing in a slow, steady stream while the processor is running so the dressing is emulsified and holds together. With the machine on, add both the oils slowly through the feeder until the dressing is glossy and smooth. Dip in a spoon and give it a taste. Depending on the freshness and tartness of the apple, you may need a dash more honey for sweetness, or a dash more vinegar for tartness. Add a bit of salt and pepper and taste again. It should knock your socks off at this point.
The test kitchen has put together a list of uses for this amazing dressing. Feel free to experiment with it and have some fun!
• Fall Salad: baby spinach, cooked bacon bits, roasted butternut squash, goat cheese and toasted pecans tossed with warmed apple cider vinaigrette for a fabulous fall main course salad.
• Place boneless chicken breasts on a baking sheet with sides. Brush with the apple cider vinaigrette and roast in a 350 degree oven for about 30-35 minutes until browned on edges and cooked through. Serve with wild rice pilaf and a green veg with extra vinaigrette drizzled over the top.
• Roast a seasoned pork loin on a baking sheet with sides for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove the pan and brush with 1/2 cup apple cider vinaigrette mixed with 1/2 cup prepared cranberry sauce. Return to oven and roast for an additional 8-10 minutes until pork is medium to medium well (pink in the middle is A-OK and preferable) and the sauce is caramelized. Serve over mashed sweet potatoes with extra sauce drizzled on the plate.
• Roast root vegetables such as parsnips, brussels sprouts, carrots, beets, or/and sweet potatoes that are all cut into similar sizes on a baking sheet with sides at 350 degrees for about 30-35 minutes. Remove pan from oven and give them a stir. Brush with apple cider vinaigrette and roast an additional 10 minutes until vegetables are tender. (we parboil our beets before roasting)
• Great dipping sauce for sweet potato fries!
• Good on any green salad!
• Drizzle over warmed brie or goat cheese with crackers or toasts!
Give it a whirl while the apples are still fresh off the trees. The dressing will last in the frig for 1 week so you may want to make a double batch if you want to make multiple recipes. Take your time and enjoy the process of creating your own dressing!
Happy Fall Cooking!
The Sunday Chef & Team @Starky’s