Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Maple Vinaigrette: A Superb Dressing for Salad or Slaw from Cleo Coyle

Freezing nights and warmer days are essential to a good maple syrup season. That swing between freeze and thaw is what brings the sap out of the trees near the end of winter (and before spring budding). In short, in many areas of North America, this is the season for tapping trees and boiling down maple syrup. 

For those of you interested in how maple
syrup is made, join me for a virtual trip
to a Vermont family farm. 

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A Note from Cleo
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Maple can offer a superb, smoky-sweet note to many dishes. In this salad dressing, it serves as a sultry substitute for honey. I use this dressing on all kinds of salads, including coleslaw. It's absolutely delicious, bringing sweet, bright, and tangy flavors to the fresh, crunchy greens or slaw.

The dressing is also easily adaptable. If you'd like more tang, splash in more vinegar. I leave the amount of salt and pepper to your own taste, but don't leave either out, they provide good balance to the dressing. One last note, be sure to use fresh lemon juice (not bottled) for the very best flavor. Happy Maple Season...

May you eat with joy and in good health!

~ Cleo 

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Free Recipe PDF

Cleo Coyle's
Maple Vinaigrette

Servings: This recipe makes about 1/4 cup of dressing, enough to dress 4 small salads or 2 large ones


2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon white vinegar*
4 teaspoons maple syrup
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice*
Salt and ground pepper (to your taste)

*I use rice vinegar in this recipe, though you can use any white vinegar. As for the lemon juice, be sure to use freshly squeezed (not bottled) for the very best flavor.

Directions: First, please note that I'm using both Tablespoons and teaspoons in this recipe, so be sure not to confuse those measurements. Use a whisk to properly blend the ingredients. Whisk well, until you've created a smooth dressing. Add the salt and pepper to your own taste (but don't leave them out;  they provide balance to the overall dressing). Pour over fresh greens or coleslaw and toss. 

Cleo's Baby Leaf Spinach Salad 
with Maple Vinaigrette

Here's a delicious and nutritious salad that I like to eat in a big bowl as a light lunch or serve in smaller portions before dinner. The sweet, bright, and tangy notes in my Maple Vinaigrette pair wonderfully with the classic bitter-green flavor of baby spinach.

Servings: This recipe makes 4 small salads or 2 large ones


9-10 ounces (about 12 cups) fresh, raw baby spinach (see my note)*
1/4 cup maple vinaigrette (see recipe above)
2-3 slices bacon, cooked crispy and chopped
1 hard boil egg, chopped

*I often use the triple-washed packages for convenience. Fresh, bunched spinach is delicious, but be sure to wash at least three times to remove all grit.

Directions: Toss baby spinach leaves with vinaigrette. Garnish with bacon bits and chopped eggs, and...

Eat (and read) with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author
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Alice and Marc in Central Park. 
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  1. Your vinaigette sounds delicious! I love being able to whisk up homemade salad dressings, so this one is definitely being put in my repertoire. Thanks so much for sharing ~

    1. Celia - Homemade salad dressing is always a treat, so much better than bottled. I'm glad you enjoyed the post, and I hope you enjoy the dressing, as well. Have a delicious week!

      ~ Cleo
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  2. I love maple syrup and have never thought of using it in a vinaigrette. Very neat idea!