Um, can we talk frankly about winter salads for a moment? I don’t know about where you are, but here on the frozen tundra of Minnesota, it can get a little repetitive around this time of the year. Between dodging veggies of questionable quality (I’m looking at you, rock-hard pale tomato) and the sometimes ridiculous price of incorporating a little more variety (oh out of season fruit, how I’ve missed you!), the salad repertoire can be somewhat limited. Don’t get me wrong: there are some amazing winter-season salads, but even delicious kale starts to feel a little, “been there, done that” after a few months. Right now I am really missing the constant variety of the garden, and definitely craving some of those garden fresh flavors!
Enter: Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette. Made with the Apricot + Habanero Pepper Jelly that I made last fall, this vinaigrette packs a punch of fresh flavor – just what every winter-weary salad lover needs this time of year!
I mixed things up a bit from the original recipe, using white wine vinegar instead of red, dijon mustard instead of coarse ground, and then added in a little minced shallot for good measure (because I firmly believe that the key to every great salad dressing is minced onion or shallot). The end result was nothing short of amazing: sweet, tangy, complex, and completely addicting!
It couldn’t be easier to make: simply whisk together all the ingredients and spoon it over your salad. Even a simple plain lettuce salad will become something special with these flavors, and the little jewel-toned pieces of pepper, onion, apricot, and shallot add the perfect little touch of color.
This is exactly what I needed to shake up my repetitive salad routine and bring a little garden back to the salad bowl!
Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette
(makes about 1 cup)
6 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons pepper jelly
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Add all ingredients to a small bowl and whisk until combined and spoon over salad, as desired. Store extra vinaigrette in a small glass jar and refrigerate. Shake well before using.
Recipe adapted from Audrey’s Apron