There’s nothing like the feeling of falling in love and fallen I have. Wait – no news on the “guy” front – I’ve fallen for this Sweet Sorghum Vinaigrette. I think you’ll feel the same way once you taste it! A touch of sweet with just a hint of smoky warmth, this is unlike any dressing I’ve ever tasted (or made) before.
Even though I call this Sweet Sorghum Vinaigrette, it isn’t overly sweet, but it just has the perfect hint of sweetness to offset the taste of just about any salad greens; especially any greens that have a hair of a bitter note, Spring Greens, arugula, or even sturdy greens like kale. It would be lovely drizzled over a crisp apple or pear salad or any Autumn type salad, maybe one with pecans and deep leafy greens. I imagine it would also be wonderful over a grilled or sautéed butternut or acorn squash. You’ll just have to taste it and see for yourself.
About Sweet Sorghum Vinaigrette:
A concentrated apple cider, sorghum and a wee hit of bourbon take this dressing absolutely to the next level. So does the creamy emulsion – do take a moment to pull out your blender for the best texture. I thought about adding a little cayenne to the dressing to add a touch of complexity; I wanted something that was going to bridge all those flavors but settled on a surprise ingredient – just the slightest hit of white pepper. It’s a magical alchemy of ingredients that make this an outstanding dressing.
If you’re not familiar with Sorghum, you’re not alone. Sorghum is a grain, grown in a number of areas and is considered to be an important world food, according to Wikipedia. I know it from growing up in Iowa where it is a big crop in the southern area of the state. And I know it from Sorghum Syrup, which can often be found in the baking aisle, usually around the items like corn syrup and molasses. I also have a couple of other recipes on the site (I never like to leave you high and dry with an ingredient you’ll buy only for one recipe) that use Sorghum Syrup, and it can be used as a pancake/waffle syrup, too, so don’t be afraid to buy a jar.
My favorite way to use my Sweet Sorghum Vinaigrette is as a part of my Taphouse Salad. I posted it earlier this week and it is a beauty. Just FYI, there are quite a few components to that Taphouse Salad, which is named after Taphouse 41, a restaurant in Sioux Falls where I discovered that marvelous salad. The Sweet Sorghum Vinaigrette is just one of those components. The Taphouse Salad also has beautiful greens, of course, and a Smashburger, Pan Roasted Mushrooms & Onions, Slow Roasted Tomatoes, apple, and goat cheese (or Brie) and is topped by this Sweet Sorghum Vinaigrette. It’s worth searching out the Sorghum.
Making Sweet Sorghum Vinaigrette:
While there are so many dressings that can be emulsified by just shaking in a jar, this is one of the recipes I do like to take the extra step of pulling out the blender for. What you’ll get for that extra few minutes of work is a gorgeous dressing that looks like it came off the shelf, with none of the strange ingredients, preservatives, and emulsifiers. If you’re a label reader, you know what I mean and if your not, maybe it’s time to start. Salad dressings are one of the worst offenders.
Sweet Sorghum Vinaigrette does hole the emulsion for a day or two, then will likely thin out a bit on its own. Then you can toss it in a jar and shake it up if you wish, before using.
Saving Money on Sweet Sorghum Vinaigrette:
The Sorghum Syrup to make this dressing isn’t pricey, or at least shouldn’t be. It also has an incredibly long shelf life, and I’ve used it in other recipes on the site. If, after a long time (we’re usually talking a couple years) when held on the shelf, it starts to crystallize a bit (just like honey does) slightly heat it and stir it back together. Clean the jar well. And clean the lid of the jar well after using or you’ll have a had time opening it, later.
If you cannot find sorghum (gosh I hate to say this) use a combo of a little molasses cut with corn syrup. Keep in mind that regular old corn syrup is NOT the same thing as high fructose corn syrup. So no angry emails, please! And while corn syrup can’t claim any health benefits it’s not quite the same demon that high fructose corn syrup is.
If you don’t usually buy or drink apple cider (but you may wish to make my Warm Mulled Apple Cider) it’s probably not going to be worthwhile for you to buy it for just a cup. Use apple juice, instead.
Sweet Sorghum Vinaigrette
- 1 cup good apple cider
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon bourbon
- 1/2 cup sorghum *
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- scant 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/2 cup light flavored olive oil
In a saucepan, reduce apple cider to about 1/4 cup. Set aside to cool while the rest of the ingredients are assembled.
In a blender, add vinegar, bourbon, sorghum, Dijon, mustard powder, salt and white vinegar. Pulse to blend. Add in apple cider reduction.
With blender running on low, remove the center of the lid. Very slowly, in a thin stream, pour in the oil. Continue to blend until an emulsion is reached.
Note: No Sorghum? I hesitate to advise this but consider subbing in two or three tablespoons of molasses, then filling the rest of the measure (1/2 cup) with light corn syrup.
I’ll also be bringing this outstanding dressing to Fiesta Friday 91, put on by Angie of the Novice Gardener. The hosts this week are hosts this week are Juju @ cookingwithauntjuju and Indira @ I’ll Cook, You Wash.