Honey Citrus Vinaigrette: So good on many Salads & Fruits

Honey Citrus Vinaigrette & Salad Options . $.78

This is one of my favorite Vinaigrettes – I often just throw it together, carelessly and spur of the moment, paying very little attention to proportions and measurements, and it always turns out great. I love this for a winter salad, and in the late spring when everything is brown and muddy and dreary, this bright little dressing is like a tonic.

Honey Citrus Vinaigrette: So good on many Salads & Fruits
Honey Citrus Vinaigrette: So good on many Salads & Fruits

This is also a great way to use the last couple of oranges from a bag that might be getting just past their peak. These types of citrus  vinaigrettes usually have one half part oil and about a quarter of citrus and vinegar, but I don’t sweat the proportions. If I’m a bit light on the citrus, I add a bit more vinegar, and possibly a bit more honey. The Dijon helps thicken and emulsify and the garlic and zest adds flavor.

Any light vinegar is perfect: White Wine, Rice Vinegar, and Champagne Vinegar are all wonderful if it can be had for a decent price.

As for the pricing, the real cost is the oranges and the oil. The rest of the ingredients are just pennies.

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Citrus Honey Vinaigrette, about 3/4 cup
  • Juice and zest from one orange
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons to a tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • 1/2 to one teaspoon Dijon
  • 2 tablespoons of a light vinegar, and up to 1/4 cup depending on how sweet/tart you’d like the dressing to be
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed and finely minced
  • a few grinds of pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Poppy seeds, optional
  • Salad greens and/or fruit of your choice.

Mix all dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake. Add poppy seeds if using. I generally only use the poppy seeds if I am making a fruit salad. Sometimes I just sprinkle a few on top, like the photo above, and I often omit.

My favorite ways to use this dressing:

  • Orange, Avocado & Red Onion Salad: the salad, pictured above:  On top of a bed of beautiful salad greens, arrange the Mandarin oranges or  orange segments, slices of avocado and very thinly sliced red onion rings. This always makes a gorgeous presentation.
  • The Beet Goes On Salad: a salad of fancy mixed greens, use slices of roasted beets, red onion and bits of goat cheese. It’s a simple but amazing concoction.
  • Over Fruit: There is something about this dressing that goes wonderfully with sliced kiwis, and this dressing is good with a number of salads with fruit or made just from fruit.
  • As a Marinade for Orange Supremes: I often marinate orange supremes in this dressing and serve with almost anything – even for breakfast.

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

  • Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
  • Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Read below for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.

Strategies Applied:

  • I double or more any vinaigrette I make.  The tart acid from the vinegar helps to prevent spoiling and they keep for weeks and weeks in the fridge in my favorite little salad jars (donated Starbucks latte bottles!)
  • Oranges:  I watch for late spring specials – while in season January through April, the best pricing seems to be March and April.  I’ll buy several bags and serve them a lot when I find them around 89 cents a pound.  While oranges may seem a little mundane, you can get your family to eat them if you do a little prep and culinary magic.  A medium orange is about 6 ounces, cost:  68 cents
  • Vinaigrette Ingredients:  These small amounts cost just pennies – I’ll say 10 cents, but check Saving on Basic Ingredients to find the best pricing options and savings – I’m always updating and adding.
  • Salad Greens:  I always choose the loose or bundles over bagged – even at their lowest sales price, the loose is less expensive and of better quality.  Check out Lettuce and Spinach under Vegetables and Fruits for some price comparisons – and they hold true with every different type of bagged greens product.
  • Poppy Seeds:  They are amazingly inexpensive in the bulk aisle – keep these in a small jar or container in your freezer.

Put Your Own Spin on It:

  • Vary the citrus:  try blood orange or a a combination of other citrus.
  • Toasted Sesame seeds are wonderful with this, especially if you’re using rice wine vinegar.
  • Chives or thinly sliced scallions work really well with Citrus.
  • Find your own combinations of flavors you love together!

Citrus Vinaigrette made April 2012

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