Better Than Store-Bought Stuff: Homemade Honey Mustard Salad Dressing

Food blogger Barbara Kiebel says friends have asked her to bottle the salad dressing she recently whipped up. “I decided to make a new version of a Honey Mustard Salad Dressing using olive oil instead of mayonnaise,” she writes in her excellent blog, Creative Culinary. “Can I just say how much I love this lighter version of Honey Mustard Dressing?”  (Click here to see featured salad recipe.)

Here, Kiebel pairs the dressing with an avocado and orange chopped salad. The salad also includes romaine lettuce, candied almonds, dried cranberries and green onions.

The aforementioned honey mustard dressing, meanwhile, is simple. The ingredients are processed in a blender until combined. They include: extra virgin olive oil – Kiebel used our fruity Arbequina – whole grain mustard, honey, cider vinegar, fresh orange and lemon juice, and salt and pepper. (Click here to see featured salad recipe.)

Kiebel says the dressing has served multiple uses: “Let’s see, so far this week I’ve used it for this salad, another salad with raspberries, blackberries, croutons, cheese and avocado, and last night I served it with pan fried chicken tenders as a dipping sauce.”

Speaking of salads and dressings, we asked Kiebel for tips for making your own.

When making a salad dressing, do you have a preferred ratio of extra virgin olive oil to vinegar?

Typically thee parts oil to one part vinegar.

What types of vinegar do you like to use in your dressings?

Balsamic vinegar is my favorite; but I use red wine and cider vinegar too.

What are some easy ways – i.e., herbs, spices, etc. – to boost the flavor of a salad dressing?

I think the best boost is to add some chopped fresh herbs. They’re always available now in the vegetable section of the grocery. I use rosemary and/or garlic with a quick sauté  to flavor olive oil. But I add most others fresh: chives, basil, and thyme are favorites … and easy to grow too.

What are some of your favorite things to add to a basic green salad – i.e., vegetables, nuts, seeds, etc.?

I am going nuts over salads with berries: strawberries, raspberries and blackberries, primarily often mixed with citrus (oranges, blood oranges, tangerines, grapefruit). They’re great with walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds and pine nuts and some grated cheese. Depending on the time of day and the hunger pangs I’ll also add some grilled chicken. FAVORITE dressing right now is the one I’m blogging about: a mix of honey, mustard and olive oil with some orange and lemon juice.

Can you briefly describe your favorite grain salad so that our fans could replicate it in their own kitchens?

I can do even better. I’ve got the recipe on my blog. It’s a combination of quinoa, avocado, corn and tomato with an olive oil dressing. It’s amazing. (Click here to see recipe.)

What’s your favorite go-to salad that people might be able to make on their own?

The fruit salad I mentioned. For example: lettuce, raspberries, toasted pecans, goat cheese and a simple olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing. I often just look in the fridge and see what I’ve got. If I have the lettuce and some cheese, I can always find something to add to them and make a great, simple salad. Experimenting is good!

Bon appétit,

Your friends at California Olive Ranch