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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.

Honey Citrus Vinaigrette on a Mandarin Orange, Avocado and Red Onion Salad

Honey Citrus Vinaigrette on a Mandarin Orange, Avocado and Red Onion Salad

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.

Honey Citrus Viniagrette

Honey Citrus Viniagrette

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.

Strategies Applied

  • 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

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