I love homemade salad dressing.
Salad dressing is easy to make, contains no mystery ingredients and tastes much better than most store bought-dressings. Every season I have a salad dressing that becomes the usual. This fall has been no different.
It took a bit of tweaking, but I created a salad dressing that complements all my favorite flavors of fall.
It has just a few ingredients, each unique and bursting with rich flavor.
Pomegranate molasses is ultra-concentrated pomegranate juice. Every time I get out my bottle from the fridge, this loud 1950’s Charlton Heston-esque epic movie voice comes in my head and says: The juice from a thooooooooooousand pomegranates.
Sorry – just keeping it real.
Pomegranate molasses is incredibly inexpensive. I think my bottle – which I’ve had for two years – was $5. It is sweet and tart and unmistakable.
Next is roasted hazelnut oil. You could also use roasted walnut oil. Either way, don’t use a refined version of either oil. These roasted oils are rich and flavorful, and not meant for cooking. They are made for salad dressings and drizzling on things. This La Tourangelle oil is my new favorite thing. It’s a bit pricey and should be stored in the refrigerator after opening.
And finally, the little black dress of vinegars – balsamic. Sweet and tangy and scrumptious.
Start with the pomegranate molasses. Just one tablespoon will do. It is thick and decadent. You’ll fall in love with it!
Next add a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.
Swish the two together.
Just a bit of kosher salt will bring out all the flavors without making the vinaigrette salty. A bit of brown sugar will cut the tartness of the pomegranate molasses and make the dressing the perfect complement to sweet, sliced apples or yummy pomegranate seeds – both essential ingredients to fall salads.
One mistake I made when testing this recipe was adding dijon mustard. The molasses is tart enough on its own.
The final result is a light but flavorful complement to the perfect fall salad! My favorite salad to accompany this vinaigrette is made of lettuce, sliced gala apples, sliced green onions, Parmesan cheese, black pepper and pecans. It’s perfect with roasted chicken on a crisp fall evening.
This recipe makes about eight tablespoons of vinaigrette. I make such a small batch because with the expensive oil, I don’t want any to go to waste. This amount is enough for two or three large dinner-sized salads or four to six small side salads.
- 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 6 tbsp roasted hazelnut oil
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp brown sugar
- Mix the pomegranate molasses and vinegar. Next add the roasted hazelnut oil. Mix together. Add the salt and sugar. Taste and add more sugar if you'd like.
- Enjoy on your favorite fall salad. Other great topping suggestions: spinach, pomegranate seeds, persimmons, dried cranberries, hazelnuts, walnuts, feta, pears, figs, roasted and shelled pumpkin seeds. It's all the tastes of the season in one salad bowl!