When I first posted this recipe for Melissa d’Arabian’s Mustard Vinaigrette back in 2012, the world of food was quite a bit different than it is now, in 2019. Back then there were bloggers (including me), there was the internet and of course, there were food shows, like $10 Dinners, which I watched with interest. There was nothing like the explosion of knowledge we have at our fingertips, today.
I remember this dressing was kind of an eye opener at the time. Yeah, I’d had and made many Balsamic Vinaigrettes and plenty of vinaigrettes with other vinegar, too, but this recipe has a little secret that I loved then and love, still. And I’m not alone. This simple, little whip together dressing this has 282 comments on the Food Network site.
About Melissa d’Arabian’s Mustard Vinaigrette:
Now, not all of those many and varied comments are positive, although the recipe has a five-star review. Some were adamant that the secret ingredient, a splash of soy sauce had no business in this vinaigrette. Such a to-do! I guess we’re all on our own little quest for perfection…
I will say this, using a bit of Soy in many things where it really shouldn’t be 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 but I’ve never thought to put soy in my Balsamic Vinaigrette before I tried Melissa d’Arabian’s recipe.
So I gave it a shot, and that touch of soy does a couple of things. It deepens the flavor and seems to mellow the sharpness of this salad dressing. That makes this such a lovely vinaigrette, especially to serve to anyone who doesn’t appreciate a sharp, vinegar tang to their dressings.
I’m done going on about the dressing, but I gotta stop, here, by the way, and give a shout out to my son’s girlfriend/significant other for being such a patient and steady hand model! We always have such fun cooking and eating together and they’re both so patient with waiting to eat until I can get a picture! Just FYI, the amount of dressing in the jar is a double recipe.
Making Melissa d’Arabian’s Mustard Vinaigrette:
There’s nothing to making Melissa d’Arabian’s Mustard Vinaigrette. There are just six ingredients and five of them are just measured out from the bottle. The last, a clove of garlic can be dealt with two different ways.
In Melissa d’Arabian’s original recipe, Melissa used her clove of garlic to rub a salad bowl with and then made her dressing right in the bowl. When the dressing is finished the actual salad ingredients get dropped into the bowl then everything is tossed together. That’s the “proper” way to do things as I understand. Not that proper matters too much to me when I’m trying to get dinner on the table!
Personally, I like the little bit of extra kick you get from using the whole clove of garlic and like to mince it finely. Then, rather than make it in a bowl, I dump everything into a jar and shake away. That gives me the opportunity to maximize my time and double the dressing so I can stash part of it away for a salad later on. This dressing stores well for a week or two with no problem.
Saving Money on Melissa d’Arabian’s Mustard Vinaigrette:
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 or if I miss those sales, during Super Bowl week. Vinegar is a great item to stock up on before Easter when it’s generally on sale for dying eggs. And usually, not just plain old vinegar is on sale, but the premium ones, too, often unadvertised.
Soy sauce is a condiment but has its own pwn shopping rules, just like a lot of Asian ingredients do. Look for it at an Asain market if you have one nearby or pick it up during the Chinese (Lunar) New Year at your regular grocery. The date of the Lunar New Year changes every year, so watch for it. All the Asian items are often discounted at one time or another in the few weeks leading up to the New Year, and usually not advertised. That might vary where you live.
I love making my own salad dressings; they’re pretty inexpensive and usually additive free or close to it, depending on the items you use to make it with. Many, like Melissa d’Arabian’s Mustard Vinaigrette, can be whipped up at just a moment’s notice, and although I do like to make a little extra and store it in the fridge, when you make your own dressings it’s kind of nice not to have several bottles of storebought cluttering that fridge up! So, although this isn’t “my” recipe, I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we do!
Melissa D'Arabian's Mustard Vinaigrette
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Small splash soy sauce
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
This dressing is easily made in a jar. Just dump all ingredients in and shake together.
To make and dress the salad in the salad bowl, split garlic clove instead of mincing and rub the bowl with the cut side of the garlic. Add the mustard to the bowl and whisk in the balsamic vinegar and soy sauce 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. Add salad greens and toss until coated.
The dressing will separate as stored, simply shake or whisk back together. If the olive oil hardens with refrigeration, bring to room temperature an hour or so before using or microwave for several seconds.
Nutrition: 1/4 of the dressing has about 20 calories.