Last week, my friend Mary and I met for lunch at Bob & Timmy's, a bar at the edge of Federal Hill in Providence. I ordered a garden salad, and when it arrived, we both laughed; though billed as a side, this garden salad was the size of an actual garden! The best part was the dressing, very much like this agave-balsamic vinaigrette that's one of my own "house" dressings. For this recipe, you really shouldn't use your fanciest balsamic and extra-virgin olive oil. You want more neutral ingredients that will blend happily and equally. I buy Trader Joe's olive oil (not extra-virgin) and the least expensive TJ's balsamic vinegar, and I find large bottles of agave nectar on the bargain shelf at TJ Maxx. Three inexpensive ingredients combine to make a vinaigrette that's equally at home on green salad or roasted vegetables, drizzled on grilled chicken or strawberries. If you prefer honey, cut down slightly on the amount, as honey is a bit sweeter than agave nectar.
All-purpose agave-balsamic vinaigrette
Makes 1 cup.
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup mild agave nectar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil (not fruity)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid, and shake until the dressing emulsifies; or, process in a stand blender.
Store in a jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Shake the jar before using.
More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Bread salad with roasted tomato vinaigrette
Black bean, quinoa and red pepper salad with honey-lime vinaigrette
Roasted potatoes with lemon thyme vinaigrette
Chickpea, quinoa and spinach salad with preserved lemon vinaigrette
Other recipes that use these ingredients:
Asparagus salad with raspberry almond vinaigrette, from Gluten Free Mommy
Summer chicken salad with green apple vinaigrette, from A Dash of Sass
Winter fruit salad with persimmons, pears, grapes, and agave-pomegranate vinaigrette, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Strawberry hazelnut balsamic vinaigrette salad, from Use Real Butter
Agave-sweetened chocolate ice cream, from David Lebovitz
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