This delicious dressing gets its tang from white balsamic vinegar and lemon juice, creaminess from Dijon mustard and unique flavor from garlic and fresh herbs. It’s easy enough to make for every day and tasty enough to serve to guests.
A small amount of honey adds just a touch of sweetness but also acts as an emulsifier to keep the oil and water layers from separating. For a vegan version of the dressing, maple syrup or agave would work. For the emulsifying function, though, or if you don’t want the dressing sweet, use aquafaba instead of the honey.
In the photo below, you can see a very slight separation in the dressing, but not as much as without the honey or aquafaba.
This recipe is very similar to the dressing I use for my beet feta salad with crispy walnuts. My son Rob, who is a very good cook, created this version, adding extra garlic and the honey.
Rob uses almost double the amount of garlic I’ve listed in this recipe, and if you really like garlic, give it a try! Just give the garlic some time to mellow in the dressing before you serve it. The garlic is less noticeable if you press rather than mince it, too.
What is aquafaba?
Aquafaba is the liquid left from cooking chickpeas. If you cook your chickpeas from dry beans, the amount of aquafaba you have will depend on how much water you add in cooking the beans. Freeze it in small containers. Or, pour the cooled aquafaba into ice cube trays and freeze. Then place the frozen cubes into a storage bag or container in the freezer.
You can also use the aquafaba from canned chickpeas. I think that the liquid from my home-made chickpeas does a better job of holding the dressing together, though.
An easy recipe
This recipe takes almost no time to make, except for prepping the garlic and the herbs. Then you just stir everything together.
A wonderful French cook told me once that it’s critical to add the salt to the vinegar before you add the oil to the dressing. Otherwise the salt won’t release its flavor. So that’s why the olive oil is the last ingredient.
If you make this recipe, please leave me a comment so that I know how it went!
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Lemony Garlic-Mustard Vinaigrette
- 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 1-2 teaspoons honey or 1 tablespoon aquafaba
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 3-4 cloves or more garlic, pressed or minced (see note)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1-2 teaspoons fresh herbs such as thyme, chives or rosemary, minced
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Stir the ingredients together in the order shown. If any ingredients are cold, such as the lemon juice, the honey will take just a bit longer to mix in.
- Stir well.
- Allow the dressing to sit at room temperature for at least a half hour to let the garlic mellow and the herbs release some flavor to the dressing.
- Serve over greens or vegetables of your choice.
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