Melissa Darabian Mustard Vinaigrettex

Melissa d’Arabian’s Mustard Vinaigrette

I love mixing up different vinaigrettes: Simple, cheap, delicious and mostly additive free, but one dressing, in particular, had me quite intrigued: Melissa d’Arabian’s Mustard Vinaigrette.

Ingredients for Melissa D'Arabian's Mustard Dressing
Ingredients for Melissa D’Arabian’s Mustard Dressing

I’d never seen Soy Sauce in a French vinaigrette before, but according to one of the 279 reviewers, it’s not a “new” thing. Regardless, this dressing is delicious, quick and easy – and I’m always up to learning a new trick. Who would have thought a simple dressing would be so controversial and garner so many comments on Food Network’s site!

I will say this, using a bit of Soy in many things where someone doesn’t think it should go is a great little trick. I use some in my Navy Bean and Bacon Soup I’ve made for years, and Alton Brown uses a bit in a Vegetable Bean Soup, an idea I stole for my Updated Classic Vegetable Soup. According to workers at Chipotle Restaurant, Soy is added to their marinades for the Chicken and Steak. When I put it in my Tastes Like Chicken, Chipotle Chicken marinade, it was exactly what it needed. Soy works every bit as well in this dressing.

This is meant to be made right in the salad bowl, although we often double or triple and store in a jar in the fridge. A quick shake and it comes back together.

Ingredients for Melissa d'Arabian's Mustard Vinaigrette, just a bit lower end
Ingredients for Melissa d’Arabian’s Mustard Vinaigrette, just a bit lower end
Melissa D’arabian’s Mustard Vinaigrette
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Small splash soy sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Put the mustard in the bowl and whisk in the balsamic vinegar and soy sauce (a French secret!) vigorously for about 10 seconds to get a creamy consistency. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Drizzle in the olive oil as slowly as possible with 1 hand while whisking as quickly as possible with the other hand to emulsify.

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:

  • Melissa recommends rubbing the salad bowl with a cut clove of garlic, then adding the dressing with the salad greens on top. Toss just before serving.
  • We often double or triple this dressing and store in a jar, where it can be shaken together before using.
  • I often see bottled salad dressings on sale during the summer at very little or no cost with coupons and sales – at the same time, you can make your own using coupons for the basic ingredients. Even without coupons, dressings still cost just pennies to make and store for weeks in your fridge with no preservatives.
  • Dijon:  I always pick up a lot of Dijon (and all my other condiments) during the summer holidays when condiments will reach their all time lows and coupons abound. A second chance always comes around during Super Bowl week. We go through tons of Dijon because it’s called for in so many recipes and I’ll use it for vinaigrettes, marinades and things like cole slaw. If I can’t find a deal with a coupon, the store brands on sale are often a good value. (When I can’t get any more out of my container, I add a little red or white wine vinegar and a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and shake it for a quick salad dressing in the jar.) Cost for a tablespoon – a guess- about 3 cents, a teaspoon, 2 cents.
  • Vinegar:  I pick up a jug of white vinegar around Easter – often with a coupon, and often on an unadvertised sale. It keeps forever and is dirt cheap. The better vinegars are often on sale at Easter, and on sale with coupons sporadically through the summer. I don’t use a good Balsamic in Salad Dressings. If I want a better Balsamic, I’ll go for a Trader Joe’s trip. The very good Balsamic is really saved for when it counts, as a drizzle on something wonderful.
  • Soy Sauce:  I generally find coupons and great sales every year after New Years and around the Chinese New Year.  Cost:  Free.
  • Olive Oil: I have a little strategy for buying olive oil – using coupons and sales to lower the price, so click on the link. I think it’s important to use olive oil as opposed to many others – the health benefits outweigh a bit more extra cost, and it can be had at a very reasonable price. I also like the fact that Olive oil contains no hidden trans fats like Canola or Vegetable oil. Cost for this recipe: 24 cents.

Nutritional Information: 

1/4 of the dressing has about 20 calories.

My Pay off:

When I serve this Mustard Vinaigrette, I know I’m serving something simple, healthy and refreshing with ingredients I can be confident in.

Mustard Vinaigrette last priced March 2012 at about 30 cents, repriced March 2014 for 28 cents. Without coupons for the ingredients and careful shopping, it would be much more.

Comments and discussion always welcome - tell me what you think.

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