A few weeks ago, I started thinking of fall flavors (seriously, when did seasons become flavors to me?). Apples, pumpkins, squash, Brussels sprouts … I started to scheme about how I could use them to create new dishes.
The first thing that came to mind: Apple Cider Vinaigrette.
Not a dressing that just uses apple cider vinegar, though: One that uses actual apple cider to create a sweet, tangy lettuce-coating dressing. Something that could bridge the light foods of summer with the bone-warming foods of winter. Could cider in a dressing even work?
I’ve been working on this recipe ever since, trying to get it just right. And guess what? I did. It’s earthy and lightly sweet, with that tinge of tang I wanted. Even Shawn, who isn’t a vinaigrette fan at all, liked it a lot.
As for the salad above? It’s romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size bits with half a Haas avocado sliced, about eight medium shrimp that were just steamed, two slices of pancetta fried until crisp and about an ounce of Danish blue cheese. Yum.
Next time though, I would choose a lettuce with a less aggressive taste like a Boston Bibb. I think that would make this salad — and dressing — absolutely perfect.
P.S. The cute bottle? It’s a glass flask from The Container Store. I bought it on a recent trip into New York and absolutely love it for dressings like this. It stores in the fridge well and is absolutely airtight. I use a small funnel to help ease the dressing in without spilling. Both are awesome to have in your cupboard if you love to make your own dressing.
Apple Cider Vinaigrette
1/3 cup apple cider
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup olive oil
Whisk all of the ingredients together. Transfer to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to one week.