may 30, 2018
Sweet Vidalia onions are back in season and I’m putting them to good use. Know how they say you can eat them raw? Ever tried that? Me neither, but their mild flavor allows them to take up residence in salads, salsas and sandwiches without imparting a strong oniony aftertaste. You have nothing to fear from this seasonal salad dressing in the way of offending others!
This vinaigrette is a good keeper in the fridge—up to two months—so you can enjoy Vidalia onion sweetness long after the season officially ends. This dressing will not overwhelm tender greens and can stand up to the heft of romaine or members of the kale family. It would be great over sliced local tomatoes and cucumbers and you can improvise with add-ins like poppy seeds, bits of sun-dried tomato or capers. Versatile, easy to make and a good keeper—all attributes that make this an ideal homemade present to take when you are a lucky dinner guest. Placed in a pretty jar or bottle, this would be a welcome host gift.
A bit of honey enhances the natural vibe of Vidalias and you can either omit or substitute maple syrup, agave or coconut sugar. Dijon mustard helps thicken and give a proper emulsification. I use pure organic apple cider vinegar, but feel free to use red or white wine vinegar. Balsamic would overpower the onion, so use that for your caprese salad. The only vinegar I would not recommend is distilled white vinegar because it is made in a laboratory and is best for cleaning house. Seriously. Your best friend in the creation of this recipe will be the stick, or immersion, blender; a mini chop or strong stand blender will also accomplish a creamy result.
Most of my recipes call for sweet onions because they soften quickly, add flavor without bitterness and are available year round. When Vidalias are in season, they are my most favorite. Pickled Vidalia onions showed up in my recipe for a shrimp and vegetable salad and the pickling liquid is the base for a hemp seed dressing. Salad dressings are so simple to make and taste so much better than those purchased in a store. I love to stock up on homemade dressings and vinaigrettes in summer because they liven up freshly picked produce for a no-fuss side. When it gets hot, raw meals are ideal for keeping things cool in the kitchen. And this vinaigrette keeps you in the plant power mode which is always the way to go!
Vidalia Onion Vinaigrette
recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company
makes about 1 ½ cups
¾ cup chopped Vidalia onion (about one half of a standard size onion)
1 tablespoon creamy Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey (or other natural sweetener)
¼ cup pure apple cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
tiny pinch of finely ground white pepper
½ cup neutral oil like canola or grapeseed
- Place onion, mustard, honey, vinegar and seasonings in the beaker attachment of your immersion blender, or in the bowl of a mini chopper or in a standard blender.
- Blend all until smooth.
- Add oil and blend again, scraping sides of container if needed, until very smooth and creamy.
- Flavor develops after refrigerating at least 2 hours; store in a glass container in the fridge up to 2 months.