Some of the best recipes always start as a mistake.
I know it’s happened to you before … you go to make a recipe and realize halfway through that you don’t have that key ingredient. Then you start fumbling through your pantry to find a substitute.
Well … that’s how my family’s favorite salad dressing was discovered!
My go-to salad dressing used to be a grainy mustard vinaigrette. The three ingredients were staples I always had on hand … that is until one fateful Sunday afternoon when I went to whip up a dressing for my family’s lunch.
Seems someone (couldn’t have been me!) had used up the grainy mustard and had not added it to the grocery list! As I was lamenting over what to use instead, my Dad said, “Why not use French’s mustard?” I’m sure I had a funny look on my face. Yellow mustard for a vinaigrette? Yes, it’s delicious on just about everything, but would it taste good with balsamic vinegar?
So, being adventurous, I gave it a try. And you know what …. it was delicious!
Since the flavor of the yellow mustard was a little more mild than the grainy mustard, my kids actually preferred it!
A few weeks later my Dad said he was making our new vinaigrette and decided to add apricot preserves to the mixture. Again, I am sure I had a funny look on my face. Jam in salad dressing?! Well, of course I tried it … and was pleasantly surprised to discover … I loved it.
The preserves add a sweetness that really rounds out the tangy flavors of the vinegar and mustard.
I always now tell people … if you have a well-stocked kitchen with good quality staples, you will always be able to make a flavorful dish with what’s on hand. Even if it’s an unlikely combination of ingredients!
Sweet Mustard Balsamic Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon apricot preserves
1 tablespoon French’s Yellow Mustard
4 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, apricot preserves and yellow mustard. Slowly add the oil in a steady stream, whisking until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serves 4 to 6.