This is one of my favorite Vinaigrettes – I often just throw it together, carelessly and spur of the moment, paying very little attention to proportions and measurements, and it always turns out great. I love this for a winter salad, and in the late spring when everything is brown and muddy and dreary, this bright little dressing is like a tonic.
This is also a great way to use the last couple of oranges from a bag that might be getting just past their peak. These types of citrus vinaigrettes usually have one half part oil and about a quarter of citrus and vinegar, but I don’t sweat the proportions. If I’m a bit light on the citrus, I add a bit more vinegar, and possibly a bit more honey. The Dijon helps thicken and emulsify and the garlic and zest adds flavor.
Any light vinegar is perfect: White Wine, Rice Vinegar, and Champagne Vinegar is wonderful if it can be had for a decent price.
As for the pricing, the real cost is the oranges and the oil. The rest of the ingredients are just pennies.
Citrus Honey Vinaigrette, about 3/4 cup
- Juice and zest from one orange
- 1 1/2 teaspoons to a tablespoon honey
- 1/4 cup light olive oil
- 1/2 to one teaspoon Dijon
- 2 tablespoons of a light vinegar, and up to 1/4 cup depending on how sweet/tart you’d like the dressing to be
- 1 clove garlic, crushed and finely minced
- a few grinds of pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Poppy seeds, optional
- Salad greens and/or fruit of your choice.
Mix all dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake. Add poppy seeds if using. I generally only use the poppy seeds if I am making a fruit salad. Sometimes I just sprinkle a few on top, like the photo above, and I often omit.
My favorite ways to use this dressing:
- Three Ring Salad: On top of a bed of beautiful salad greens, arrange the Mandarin oranges or orange segments, slices of avocado and very thinly sliced red onion rings. This always makes a gorgeous presentation.
- In a salad of fancy mixed greens, use slices of roasted beets, red onion and bits of goat cheese.
- There is something about this dressing that goes wonderfully with sliced kiwis, and this dressing is good with a number of salads with fruit or made just from fruit.
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 Strategies – You’ll see them all explained on the upper left tab 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.
- I double or more any vinaigrette I make. The tart acid from the vinegar helps to prevent spoiling and they keep for weeks and weeks in the fridge in my favorite little salad jars (donated Starbucks latte bottles!)
- Oranges: I watch for late spring specials – while in season January through April, the best pricing seems to be March and April. I’ll buy several bags and serve them a lot when I find them around 89 cents a pound. While oranges may seem a little mundane, you can get your family to eat them if you do a little prep and culinary magic. A medium orange is about 6 ounces, cost: 68 cents
- Vinaigrette Ingredients: These small amounts cost just pennies – I’ll say 10 cents, but check Saving on Basic Ingredients to find the best pricing options and savings – I’m always updating and adding.
- Salad Greens: I always choose the loose or bundles over bagged – even at their lowest sales price, the loose is less expensive and of better quality. Check out Lettuce and Spinach under Vegetables and Fruits for some price comparisons – and they hold true with every different type of bagged greens product.
- Poppy Seeds: They are amazingly inexpensive in the bulk aisle – keep these in a small jar or container in your freezer.
Put Your Own Spin on It:
- Vary the citrus: try blood orange or a a combination of other citrus.
- Toasted Sesame seeds are wonderful with this, especially if you’re using rice wine vinegar.
- Chives or thinly sliced scallions work really well with Citrus.
- Find your own combinations of flavors you love together!
Citrus Vinaigrette made April 2012