Oh, vinaigrette! When I moved to France eight years ago, this was one of the first things I learned to “make,” and also one of the most rewarding. I’m not crazy for organic products, but I do take satisfaction in knowing what goes into what I eat. I almost always prefer making things from scratch, even if it means spending a little (or sometimes a lot!) more time in the kitchen. And while I do have a soft spot for creamy ranch dressing, I’ve learned to live without it and to prefer a simple, homemade vinaigrette. My go-to is the very recipe that I first learned here, a classic olive oil, red wine vinegar and mustard sauce. But my new favorite, which is better on so many levels, is this hazelnut honey mustard dressing.
It’s just as easy to make (if you have a mason jar with a lid, all you do is pour and shake!), but the addition of hazelnut oil gives this sauce a distinct and nutty flavor that olive oil, which is fairly neutral, just can’t provide. Nice, strong mustard and just a hint of sweet honey makes this less of an overpoweringly sweet dressing, like the bottled ones I remember from home, and more of a subtle mix of sweet and spicy. I’ve eaten this on pretty much everything over the last few weeks, but one of my favorites was a simple quinoa salad with radishes, marinated fennel and leftover roasted cauliflower. Divine!
Hazelnut honey mustard vinaigrette
3 parts hazelnut oil
2 parts balsamic vinegar
1 part strong Dijon mustard
1 part honey
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dump all of your ingredients into a bowl and whish until combined. Even better, place ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake until combined. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks!